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Why Christianity is

False
The purpose of this site is to provide a series of arguments that when considered as
a whole, will provide the reader with plenty of reason to consider that the Christian
faith is false.

Which Christianity?

There are thousands of Christian denominations worldwide, with many differing


beliefs. However, the version of Christianity that this site refers to is the
fundamentalist or evangelical branch, which is what I was raised in. Primarily its
doctrines are as follows:

Belief in the predetermined sinful nature of man


Belief in the Holy Trinity, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Belief in heaven and hell as the ultimate destinations of all human beings
Belief that salvation (entry to heaven) is achieved through Christianity alone
Belief in the Bible as the true and only revealed Word of God
Belief in the sacrifice of Christ crucified as the mechanism by which God
forgives sin

Articles

Motivation Why I created this site

Yahweh, not God Why I refer to "Yahweh" rather than "God"

Feedback/Discussion Forum Feedback, discussion forum and contact details

On the resurrection (new) What they don't teach you at Bible study...

Evidence from an archaeologist exposes the lies of the Bible A Christian


archaeologist, as well

Are you sure you are going to heaven, Christian? Absolutely sure?
Fierce creatures in the Bible Eden, or Narnia?

Misinterpretation, mistranslation and apologetics Apologetics shouldn't be


necessary

The missing commandment The one that Yahweh forgot

Homosexuality Christianity and homosexuality

Weak Christian arguments Weak arguments made by Christians

You can't choose your beliefs You don't believe me? Read on...

A natural explanation for "Sin" Just apply Occam's Razor

In defense of Adam and Eve A look at the injustice of the story

Healing Christian healing - a con?

God's Word Where does the Bible actually come from?

Bible Cosmology What the Bible says about the universe

Mary was not a virgin How the gospel writers created the "Virgin Mary" through a
mistranslation

There's no free will in heaven Free will and heaven are mutually exclusive

When is Jesus coming back? Jesus clearly promised he would return within the
lifetime of his followers

Why the need to believe? Why does Yahweh require that you believe in him?

The right to disbelieve Your fundamental right to disbelieve the Bible

What if Christianity is true? Why we should engineer the extinction of the human
race if Christianity is true

The limited, finite and inexperienced male Christian god Why Yahweh is limited,
finite and inexperienced

Bible errors Errors and contradictions in the Bible


Justice has not been done Why Christ's "sacrifice" does not mean justice has been
served

When was this perfect world? Did Yahweh really create a perfect world, only for man
to mess it up?

Blind following the blind Why do you believe what you do?

Hell An essay on the doctrine of hell

Evolution An article on evolution and Christianity

Bible Atrocities What does the Bible reveal about the nature of Yahweh? A look at
some of the savagery and injustices in the Bible.

Nonsense in the Bible Looking at some of the utter nonsense in the Bible.

Fables and Absurdities in the Bible It ain't necessarily so...

Moses didn't write the Pentateuch So who did?

How powerful is Yahweh? Is Yahweh all-powerful and all-knowing?

Faith Discussion of the idea that "faith" is a good thing.

Why evangelize? Why do Christians need to try and convert non-believers?

Original Sin Why the doctrine of original sin is wrong and unfair

Babies and children What is the fate of babies and children who die?

How to get to heaven How Christians differ in their views of what gets you to heaven
& what will condemn you to hell

Why does Yahweh need to be worshipped? Why does an all-powerful being need to
be worshipped?

Are Jews the "Chosen People"? Taking a look at the claim that the Jews are a
"Chosen People"

Article on selfishness and charity Or "building up treasure in heaven"


Is Christianity original? Article on the origins of many Christian ideas such as the
virgin birth

Gnosticism Article on the original form of Christianity, Gnosticism

What can you believe? Is it still possible to believe in God?

Coming out How to "come out" as a non-Christian to family & friends

Links/resources Other web sites that may be of interest

Motivations for Creating this Site

The reader may ask - what have you got against Christianity? What is your point?
Isn't Christianity a force for good in the world? Are you trying to destroy people's
faith? Let me explain:

"There will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth"

I must have been not much more than 8 or 9 years old when my father gave me this
warning about hell, a place of unimaginable horror where non-Christians were
hurled into a raging fire that burned, but never went out. Not only that, but when
you were damned to hell, it was forever. There was no escape and it was too late to
repent - unless you carefully followed the teachings of Jesus, you risked the eternal
wrath of Yahweh in the everlasting fire that Satan and his demons were destined for.
In Sunday school, I remember watching a young teenage girl sobbing her eyes out
when the youth leader told her that her mother, who didn't attend our church,
would burn for eternity in the lake of fire. The only comfort she was offered was that
if she could persuade her mother to come to church and believe in Jesus, she would
be spared, but as the girl's mother had no desire to go to church, the poor girl had
little hope.

People who were brought up in a liberal Anglican church with a gentle kindly vicar
are often surprised at the horrific literal interpretation of the Bible that the
evangelical and Catholic churches teach, but this kind of teaching is actually quite
common. This Sunday, as well as being taught ridiculous bronze-age myths about the
origins of the earth, thousands of young, trusting children all over the world will be
warned about the dangers of hell. And they will believe it. Try to teach this kind of
nonsense to somebody in their 30s and you will probably be laughed at, but tell it to
a 7 year old and they will believe everything the "grown-ups" tell them. As the old
Jesuit saying goes "Give me a child for his first seven years and I'll give you the man."
During my teens and early twenties I believed in Jesus/Yahweh but I found it too
difficult to live a good Christian life and was convinced I would be damned to hell. I
spent a number of years wishing I had never been born and envied the dogs in the
street for not being born human. I suffered enormous anxiety and depression but
didn't know how to deal with it - I considered a psychiatrist but figured they were
non-believers and damned anyway, and suicide was out of the question as the
Sunday school teachers told us that people who committed suicide went straight to
hell.

After many years of careful thought, I eventually arrived at the conclusion that there
were too many problems with the evangelical interpretation of the Christian faith
and abandoned it as complete nonsense. I realized thought that there were probably
countless other people in a similar position who had been brought up with a terror
of hell and I wondered if I could help them.

The intended audience of this site is meant to be people who were Christians at one
point, or are on the verge of leaving, but have found it difficult to break away due to
a fear of hell. The articles on this site are the result of many years of thinking about
the problems of evangelical Christianity, and they are offered in the hope that they
are of some benefit to these people. If this site helps to free just one person from
the fear of damnation then it will have been worthwhile.

It is quite interesting that many Christians assume that the reason some of us choose
to abandon Christianity because we want to sin, and therefore we are looked down
on as people who are probably selfish at heart. If this is the case, why do so many of
us ex-Christians choose to spend a great deal of time and effort creating websites
such as this one, purely for the benefit of other people? I could easily have kept all of
my thoughts about Christianity to myself but I wanted to help other people who
suffered the fear and doubt that I did. I honestly believe that you cannot identify
with somebody's suffering (mental or physical) unless you have experienced it
yourself.

People like me don't get paid to write these thoughts, our motivation is purely to
relieve the mental suffering of fellow human beings, the only reward being the
occasional bit of grateful feedback (see this section) from somebody who has been
helped with their decision to leave Christianity by reading our articles and feels a lot
better for it. If this is what selfish, sinful people do then I plead guilty as charged.

Read below for more about my background:

My background
For as far back as I can remember I was told by my parents, my wider family and
church leaders that born-again Christians went to everlasting paradise and everyone
else went to everlasting fire and damnation in hell. I can't remember ever believing
anything else, as I heard this almost every Sunday for about 20 years. I knew there
were people who didn't believe this, but I was told that they were deceived by Satan
who was a real being, whose primary motive was to lure people away from the truth
and into the inferno. As well as being told that I had to have complete faith in
Yahweh, to get into heaven I also had to publicly proclaim my beliefs, as being an
anonymous Christian was not an option and would result in Christ "denying me" at
the Day of Judgment. Admitting to being a Christian in a rough neighborhood in
Manchester, UK where most people didn't share these beliefs was particularly hard,
but it was all part of the struggle you had to endure as part of your trip to paradise.
Although I was assured that Yahweh loved me and wanted me to get to heaven, I
was constantly tormented by the thought that I wasn't a good enough Christian and I
would end up in hell for ever. I even recall one time when I almost had an accident
riding my bike, and was relieved that I didn't die because I was sure I would find
myself in hell. Many of the friends I made at Church gradually stopped going as they
reached their teens, but I was so terrified of the consequences of dropping out that I
carried on attending church into my early twenties. Over the years I had a few
"conversion" experiences, asked Jesus into my life etc., but the effort of trying to
avoid "sin" was always too much and after a few months I inevitably gave up trying.
There was one time I really got heavily into Christianity and even started trying to
convert others, but this too faded out after about 1 year.

Eventually I reached a state of complete despair, I knew I wasn't a good enough


Christian and expected to end up in hell. My only hope was that I would get around 5
minutes notice of my death so that I could make a quick last-minute confession and
scrape into heaven. However, I thought that Yahweh would probably see through
this and deny me this opportunity.

After a while I started to read anti-Christian literature in a hope of somehow


disproving the faith I believed in for 20 years. It felt awful doing such a dreadful
thing, but I carried on and read quite a few books on evolution. I was aware of
Darwin's theories but hadn't really taken them seriously, and various Christians had
assured me there were flaws in them. Thankfully I read some excellent books and
gradually realized that my entire life's beliefs were a complete lie. With new
confidence I read more books on the history of Jesus & Christianity, and realized
how shaky the whole foundation of Christianity actually is. I felt like a massive
weight had been removed from my shoulders and felt freer and happier than I had
done for years.
Eventually the time came when I had to tell my family, who were aware that I had
stopped going to Church but we hadn't spoken about it that much. My parents broke
down in tears and I felt like I was admitting to being a child-abuser or something. In
fact, they would probably have been happier if I told them I had abused children but
had asked Yahweh's forgiveness. My mother has accepted my rejection of
Christianity but my father continues to try and bring me back into the fold. We have
some highly charged debates sometimes and my mother sometimes has to step in
and call a halt to it. I remain the only atheist in a family of about 25 Christians.
Christmas time is uncomfortable when prayers are said and people discuss what
Yahweh is doing in their lives. I get the feeling other family members are
embarrassed as they just avoid speaking to me and I remain on the edge of the
conversations.

I am now married and have 3 small children, and have already forbidden my family
to take them to church or attempt to convert them. I am determined that they will
not suffer the guilt and anguish I have been through, and nobody is going to tell
them they will be roasted by Satan for ever.

I still get the odd nagging doubt, as it's impossible to be 100% convinced that I am
right and they are wrong. Sometimes I fear that I will die and suddenly find myself
face to face with Jesus, who will cast me into the hottest fires of hell, since I was
offered salvation and turned it down. Thankfully these doubts are gradually fading,
but I don't think I'll ever be completely free of them. I would give anything for 100%
certainty that I am not going to hell.

I have told my parents that I don't hate them for preaching these hideous doctrines
to me, as I know full well that they were only passing on what was preached to
them, and that they had my best interests at heart. I agree with Richard Dawkins
who says that religious fundamentalism is like a virus that is passed from mind to
mind, infecting those who receive it and replicating itself just like a biological virus.

Anyway, my virus has been mostly eradicated, and will not be passing to any other
minds. It stops with me.

Yahweh, not God

Readers may wonder why I refer to "Yahweh" rather than "God". There are a
number of reasons for this that I will explain:

When people in the West discuss whether they believe in God, it is generally
assumed that this is the Christian god Yahweh. However, the correct response, when
somebody asks "Do you believe in God" should be "Which one?", as there are a
great many gods that humanity has believed in during its history. In the West, it
often seems that you have a simple choice of 2 options - either you believe in the
Christian god, or you are an "atheist" (why is there a need for the word "atheist"
anyway - there isn't a word for people who don't believe in astrology or Bigfoot).

I would like us to get away from this idea that "the Christian god Yahweh" and "God
the creator of the universe" are automatically assumed to be one and the same.
There is no reason why the creator of the universe shouldn't be Zeus, Jupiter or
Amun Ra for example. Or, more likely, if there is an intelligent mind behind the
universe, it simply chooses to remain unknowable.

Therefore, I decided to generally refer to "Yahweh" throughout this site rather than
"God", as making a statement such as "God is cruel and sadistic" is actually rather
offensive to the creator of the universe, if such a being exists. Not that I think such a
being could possibly be offended by a trivial insult from an insignificant human, but
it just seems more appropriate to say "Yahweh is cruel and sadistic".

Thomas Paine even thought that calling the Bible the "word of God" was insulting to
the creator. He wrote "When we contemplate the immensity of that Being....we
ought to feel shame at calling such paltry stories the word of God....when I see
throughout the greatest part of [the Bible] scarcely anything but a history of the
grossest vices, and a collection of the most paltry and contemptible tales, I cannot
dishonor my Creator by calling it by his name."

When I first read these words of Thomas Paine, I actually found it quite strange that
he believed in a creator that clearly wasn't Yahweh. As far as I was aware whilst
growing up, you either believed in God (the Christian God as clearly other religions
were all false), or you were an atheist. Paine shows us that there is indeed an
alternative.

Feedback / Contact Details / Discussion Forum

The comments below are just a few examples of the kind of feedback I have received
about this site since putting it up a few years ago. I do appreciate all the feedback,
and I can only apologize to the people who have emailed me but I haven't replied to
- I do read every email but I get a limited amount of time to write emails etc. Please
keep the feedback coming, whether good or bad! All correspondence is treated in
the strictest confidence; I will never publish any real names/email addresses unless
specifically asked.

I have decided to create a discussion forum where you can discuss the articles on
this site with other people. The address is
http://whychristianityisfalse.freeforums.org/
If you wish to email me my address is fuzzyquark@yahoo.co.uk

"I couldn't stop reading all your articles. I especially liked the comparison of the four
gospels in their descriptions of the scene at the tomb. I am brand new to this non-
believer status and am looking for all the information I can."

"No Challenge, but...it is obvious that you do not BELIEVE in what Christianity is truly
about; and that is BELIEF"

"I found [your site] absolutely invigorating. Never have I come across any writings
that contained practically all of my thoughts on religion, and then some. I am
planning to make a blog of my own, and wanted to appoint a large part of it to
religion. But, having read yours, it seems pathetically superfluous"

"I would like to express my gratitude. You have excellent critical thinking skills and
did your research."

"Thank you for the help of freeing me. I began to research more on why Christianity
is false. I found your article a few months ago and I just wanted to say thank you.
Thank you for helping me feel more comfortable on making my decision in leaving
Christianity."

"I realize the importance of thinking for oneself, and I will definitely be doing some
research into these things."

"I have discovered your article on the reasons and facts on why Christianity is false
and I have to say that, after reading most of the article, I was deeply convinced.
Thank you for helping me feel more comfortable on making my decision in leaving
Christianity."

"I have read a few of your articles on your website, and I have to admit you have
done your homework. I am a Christian, and I respectfully disagree with many of your
articles, but it is certainly refreshing to meet someone who can back up their beliefs
with more than just emotion"

"I am real sorry to see you give up on Christianity. The Bible is 100% true and
accurate, I don't know how you can find the foundation shaky in any way. You say
you have had a "few" conversion experiences, I'm sure if you had a true conversion
you would not feel this way now, because the Bible says when you are converted the
Holy Spirit dwells in you and will never be taken away. Jesus will never forsake you.
So you must not of ever been really converted,"
"I can assure you if you die today without Jesus in your heart you will go to hell."

"I related very much to your personal testament of leaving your fundamentalist
upbringing and I can tell considering your family background it must have been very
difficult. "

"A lot of your arguments are based off opinions. You've said not much has happened
between you and God, which is because you haven't opened yourself to Him. By
denying Him, you have enclosed yourself from God. What you need is to read and
understand the Bible."

"all you must do to assure that you aren't going to hell is believe and put active faith
in God. "

"nice articles.... funny 2... especially the Noah’s ark thingy..."

"How can you say Christianity is false without 100% proof, so you really have know
proof at all."

"I read the site and totally dig it, and I am a Christian."

"Your arguments are weak, poorly thought out and have all been refuted by
theologians before."

"I was recently on your website and greatly enjoyed many of the articles I found
there. I admit now that I am a Christian, and I do believe in the Holy Trinity and some
of the other things you don't, but I was also very pleased to see the challenges you
present to those of us who do believe."

"there were always things that bugged me about Christianity at its core. so recently I
decided its not for me (best decision I’ve ever made ha-ha) but anyways I came upon
your page and read through just about all of it. everything you had on there made
perfect sense, so again I just wanted to say thanks and your page was really
interesting"

"I feel like I have a very similar background - the whole growing up with intense
Christianity, becoming aware of it as a negative force in my life, and the whole
process of disproving the faith and trying to become free of all of that indoctrination.
I too have a very strained relationship with my father because of this, to the point
that we talk very seldom and often get in horrible arguments. I was actually looking
online to find articles about this so that I might be able to better phrase how I feel to
my dad. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that reading what you wrote made me feel
a little bit better. "
"have been raised JUST LIKE YOU!!! I even gave in to the "free grace" side of it, but
just couldn't logically believe that a "loving God" would predestine people for
eternity and predestine people for Hell. Makes no sense."

"I ran across your page and it was EXACTLY the kind of material I was looking for."

"I appreciate the information on your site. I'm going to be doing some more studying
on this, and draw a conclusion on what I believe based on faith, facts, and science. "

"I have no one else to talk to, just my computer. I hope you enjoyed reading my
email as you have enlightened me with your website content. You are doing a
wonderful job of keeping us informed."

"I appreciate you posting this site, I am a Christian and feel very strongly that a huge
majority of Christians don’t know what they believe and why they believe it. "

"I just read your article on “Is God fair” I agree that it seems unfair, and that you
have probably heard all the excuses, but who decides what is fair or that we deserve
to be treated fairly? Where does that come from? Who owes us anything?"

"I found your WebPages to be immensely fascinating... Once I read the first page, I
couldn't stop, and I have been clicking around and reading your pages for the last
couple of days! :)"

"I wanted to tell you! Wonderful Job! and KUDO's to you for not being afraid to think
outside of the box, that the rest of the world seems to be locked in! :)"

"I liked what u said about ur kids, how ur not letting anyone try and convert them,
and how "nobody is going to tell them they will be roasted by Satan for ever". When
I have kids, I want to do the same as you, because I don’t want them to be scared
like I am"

"I like your site and as a former Evangelical Christian I can say you're right on"

"You pointed out so many things that really got me thinking, how can I believe in
something so ridiculous? how could I have gone so long believing and living up to
something that may be a lie? And so I decided, like you, to try to prove this "religion"
thing wrong. And thank you so much for creating that website, you sparked an
unexplaining curiosity to back up what I believe with facts."

"just remember the name of the true God, the God of Adam, Moses, Abraham,
Elijah. His name is Yahweh, pray to Him and Him alone. I hope that you can find the
path."
"Your arguments on Christianity are not new ones and they are felt by many and yet
Christianity continues to do what it was designed to do, control! "

"I am 50 years old and have pretended to be a Christian all of my life. I have tried
desperately to believe. When I read your story, I so quickly identified with your
feelings and admire your bravery in announcing them to your family. I still cannot
overcome the fear of there being some kind of horrible afterlife which I shall be
sentenced to because I just could not believe. If I could believe, I would. I just cannot
believe. "

"You did a great job defending your beliefs. I too share the same beliefs and our life
stories are similar. "

"I know how you feel about the fear of hell. It is very scary to imagine. It's the
ultimate control tactic. How long ago did you deconvert? It took me several years
after deconversion to get over the fear of hell. Now I'm over it completely. But once
you realize that the Bible copied it from another culture and religion, you lose a lot
more fear of it"

Liberal Christians - What's the Point of them?

I was surprised when I first started debating Christianity on internet message boards
that there are people who don't believe in the virgin birth, miracles, Satan, hell, the
bodily resurrection and the inerrancy of the Bible - yet they still describe themselves
as Christians. They believe that Yahweh only "inspired" the Bible, and that you don't
really need to take it that seriously. They talk about all the nice bits, such as
Yahweh's love, forgiveness, heaven etc, but disregard all the nasty bits such as
hellfire, the savagery of the Old Testament, condemnation of homosexuals, the ban
on women talking in church, etc as "products of the culture of the time which need
to be re-interpreted for the modern age".

I cannot see how these people can pick and choose the bits of the Bible they like and
disregard the bits they don't. To them, "Satan" isn't a real being, but just a vague
description for the evil things humans do to each other. There isn't really a fiery hell
(although they always seem to believe in heaven). Homosexuals are welcomed and
even ordained as priests, as are women. They believe in evolution, and think that
Genesis is just a quaint fairy tale. Other religions are "equal paths to God" and must
be respected.

To me, these "liberal Christians" are just hypocrites. This is one of the few points I
will agree with the evangelicals on - either you must accept that the Bible is 100%
the word of God and take the whole package, or it isn't the word of God and it is no
more divinely inspired than the tales of Jupiter and Zeus. If you try to compromise
and say that some of it was inspired by God - then which parts? The nice bits? How
are you supposed to know which parts to follow and which to ignore?

If all religions are equal, why even bother calling yourself a Christian? Why not just
say that you find Jesus and his life interesting, but you also find Brahman fascinating
and you venerate the teachings of Buddha? The Bible contains some directives from
the creator of the universe, but so does the Bhagavad-Gita. Because if this is your
belief, you aren't really a Christian.

I suspect that the real reason many of these bishops and so-called theologians don't
want to throw away the whole package is that they are keen to hang on to their
academic positions or Anglican church pensions, and don't like the idea of having to
go and get a proper job.

Chinese Whispers about the Resurrection

"It has served us well, this myth of Christ." - Pope Leo X

Why do you only ever hear one resurrection story in church? How many Bible
studies have you been to that study all the gospels side-by-side? Take a look at how
the story gets more and more fantastic when you put the gospels into date order.

Gospel of Mark

The gospel of Mark is reckoned to be the earliest gospel, written around 70CE. This is
around 37 years after the actual events apparently occurred - up until this time they
had been circulating via word-of-mouth (the most unreliable form of communication
in existence), and possibly recorded on a lost set of sayings that scholars call "Q". Try
to imagine if you can, you have just heard a word-of-mouth account of some event
that occurred in 1971 (time of writing is 2008) and that there is no television, no
newspapers, and an ignorant, superstitious and generally illiterate population.

Mark 16:1-7: And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the
mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and
anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto
the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall
roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they
saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the
sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white
garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye
seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the
place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth
before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went
out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither
said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. Now when Jesus was risen early
the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had
cast seven devils.

Notice how it was only the women who went to the tomb, and they saw a young
man in white. No angels, no disciples, no Jesus (until after the women had fled the
tomb).

Gospel of Luke

Matthew and Luke were both written around 10-15 years after Mark, between 80-90
CE. Let's look at Luke's version first:

Luke 24:1-12: Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they
came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain
others with them.And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they
entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they
were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining
garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they
said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen:
remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of
man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third
day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre,
and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene
and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them,
which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle
tales, and they believed them not. Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and
stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed,
wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

Notice how there are now two men, not merely dressed in white now, but in shining
garments? Also, Peter is present which Mark somehow forgot to mention - St Peter -
one of the most important apostles, and Mark failed to record him being present at
the scene? Also note how Jesus is not mentioned as being present at the tomb - he
appears later on at Emmaus.

Gospel of Matthew
Matthew 28:1-10: In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day
of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And,
behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from
heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His
countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him
the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said
unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is
not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go
quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth
before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed
quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples
word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail.
And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto
them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall
they see me.

Matthew makes the story even more exciting - there is now a great earthquake and
the men have become angels, and Jesus now meets them and Matthew records his
sayings!

Matthew seems particularly prone to exaggerating stories. Let's rewind a little bit, to
his account of the crucifixion:

Matthew 27:51-53: And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top
to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were
opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves
after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

None of the other gospels mention these things. Surely if hordes of zombies came
out of the ground and swarmed into Jerusalem, at least one of the Jewish or Roman
historians would have recorded this? Imagine you are Matthew, writing about this
incredible scene. Surely you would list some of the names of these "saints", and the
names of some of the witnesses they appeared to? Instead, Matthew must simply
have been thinking about how to make the story more impressive and added it as a
mere afterthought, carelessly exposing himself as somebody with a vivid
imagination. Read it again carefully. Notice how the saints arose from the dead at
the crucifixion, but came out of the graves "after his resurrection" - where were they
in the three days between these two events? Waiting patiently in their tombs for
Jesus to rise first?
Gospel of John

The gospel of John is the last gospel and has been dated to around 90-100CE:

John 20:1-16: The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was
yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus
loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre,
and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that
other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other
disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and
looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter
following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the
napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped
together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to
the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that
he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own
home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she
stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting,
the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And
they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they
have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she
had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it
was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?
She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him
hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto
her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

John adds an extra angel, an extra disciple, and even makes Jesus himself appear at
the tomb!

The story just gets more and more fabulous with each version, but you will never
hear this preached at church, because the preacher will only ever concentrate on
one of the gospels at a time. Only when you analyze them carefully according to the
dates they were written can you see how each writer added made-up details to
make the story more and more fantastic.

Archaeology Disproves the Bible

Sometimes you will hear Christians tell you that archaeological evidence proves the
Bible is true. Have a think about this though - archaeology cannot prove that a
particular story in the Bible is true: suppose that archaeological evidence was found
that a particular battle occurred, e.g. the remains of a city are discovered exactly
where the Bible says the battle took place. This only proves that a battle took place,
it does NOT prove that Yahweh smote the unbelieving heathens from heaven.

However, if you turn it around, it is possible for archaeological evidence to prove


that the Bible is untrue. For example, if the Bible says that a battle took place at a
particular time and place, and archaeological evidence shows that this cannot have
happened, it proves that the Bible is in error.

This kind of evidence would be even more compelling if it were discovered by a


Christian. Well, this actually happened - take a look at Joshua 8:26-28:

For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he
had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. Only the cattle and the spoil of that
city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the LORD
which he commanded Joshua. And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever,
even a desolation unto this day.

Joseph Callaway, professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, excavated the


ruins of Ai between 1964 and 1976 and afterwards reported that what he found
there contradicted the Bible version completely:

The evidence from Ai was mainly negative. There was a great walled city there
beginning about 3000 B. C., more than 1,800 years before Israel's emergence in
Canaan. But this city was destroyed about 2400 B. C., after which the site was
abandoned. Despite extensive excavation, no evidence of a Late Bronze Age (1500-
1200 B. C.) Canaanite city was found. In short, there was no Canaanite city here for
Joshua to conquer (Biblical Archaeology Review, "Joseph A. Callaway: 1920-1988,"
November/December 1988, p. 24, emphasis mine).

There is also no archaeological evidence that the Exodus from Egypt ever happened.
Numbers chapter 1 gives an idea of the huge number of Israelites that apparently
wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. However, the Israeli archaeologist Eliezer
Oren spent 10 years excavating the site, and "failed to provide a single shred of
evidence that the Biblical account of the Exodus from Egypt ever happened" (Barry
Brown, "Israeli Archaeologist Reports No Evidence to Back Exodus Story," News
Toronto Bureau, Feb. 27, 1988).

Millions of people camped in the desert for decades would have left a huge
footprint, but not a single piece of evidence has been found.

Are you sure you are going to get to Heaven?


Matthew 7:21-23 Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the
kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say
to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out
demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" And then I will
declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.

Matthew 25:41 Then he will say also to those on the left hand, "Depart from me, you
cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels"

The final nail in the coffin of my Christian faith was these passages from Matthew.
Although I had "accepted Jesus as my savior", I was never really sure that I was going
to make it to heaven. Christian theologians cannot seem to agree on whether you
are "once-saved, always saved" or whether your salvation depends on you living a
holy and "godly" life. Yet every week in church, Christians wave their hands and
praise Jesus for "saving" them, confident that when they leave this earthly life they
will be greeted at the pearly gates by St. Peter.

But every time I read these passages above it sent a shiver of fear down my spine -
although I tried to live a good life and confessed my sins, I never felt I was as holy as
other Christians at church and was terrified I wasn't going to make it to heaven - I
would be one of the "goats" that Jesus talks about. Looking back, I never did
anything really bad like dealing drugs, beating people up or robbing old ladies, it was
stupid trivial stuff like taping songs off the radio that I worried would disqualify me.
No matter how much I tried to be a good Christian, I would always end up
committing these petty "sins" and agonizing over whether I had lost my salvation
because I wasn't good enough. I tried to take comfort in verses like Romans 10:9 If
you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God
raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, but then I kept coming back to Matthew
7 and thinking that the people Jesus talks about there were fulfilling Romans 10:9
and still went to hell; also the bit in Matthew 25 seems to indicate that you also
need to live a charitable and holy life (see how to get to heaven).

Eventually I despaired so much that I wished I had never been born, which led me on
my long quest to disprove the whole thing as a total bunch of nasty fabricated
nonsense, and eventually to this web site so that others in a similar position might
benefit.

All Christians admit they "sin", so how much can you sin before you are not "doing
the will of the Father in heaven"? Can you sin as much as you like during the week
and confess everything on Sunday? What about a couple of relatively harmless sins -
that bit of tax you avoided paying, or the homeless person you ignored on the street
the other day? Giving at least 10% of your income to Jesus? That new
gadget/dress/car you bought recently, should you not have given the money to the
poor instead? Isn't the fact that you are reading the articles on this site putting you
at risk of unbelief (in Yahweh's eyes, probably the worst possible crime!)

So, Christian, read the passages from Matthew above - are you still 100% confident
that you are "doing the will of the Father in heaven"? Is that a little bit of doubt
creeping in there? Still going to praise Jesus on Sunday, absolutely sure that if you
get hit by a bus on the way home from church that you will find yourself in the
golden city and not in the eternal fire?

Fierce Creatures in the Bible

The Bible contains creatures as bizarre as the Chronicles of Narnia. Everyone knows
about the talking snake (Genesis 3:1) and the talking donkey (Numbers 22:28-30),
but lets take a look at some of the other weird and wonderful creatures in the Bible.
Note that I have used the King James version (which many Christians believe is the
most authentic version), more modern translations may have "corrected" these
rather embarrassing verses. See this page on apologetics and mistranslation for my
thoughts on this matter.

Unicorns

Deuteronomy 33:17 His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like
the horns of unicorns...

Job 39:9-10 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou
bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow?

Psalms 29:6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young
unicorn.

Psalms 22:21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns
of the unicorns.

Psalms 92:10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of a unicorn: I shall be
anointed with fresh oil.

Numbers 23:22 God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an
unicorn.
Isaiah 34:7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the
bulls...

Sea monsters and dragons

Isaiah 51:9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the
ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and
wounded the dragon?

Isaiah 27:1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall
punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he
shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

Deuteronomy 32:33 Their wine is the poison of dragons.

Satyrs and Dragons

Isaiah 13:21-22 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be
full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And
the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their
pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

Isaiah 34:13-14 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the
fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. The
wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the
satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a
place of rest.

Cockatrices, and a "fiery flying serpent"

(a cockatrice is a mythological creature that is the offspring of a cock and a snake,


and can apparently turn people to stone)

Isaiah 11:8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned
child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
Isaiah 14:29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote
thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit
shall be a fiery flying serpent(!).

Isaiah 59:5 They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth
of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.

Jeremiah 8:17 For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will
not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD.

Giants and "sons of God"

Genesis 6:4 "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when
the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the
same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

FEE FI FO FUM! This story also appears in the apocryphal "Book Of Enoch"
(http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/boe009.htm) where the writer describes
how a race of 450 foot high giants was created when fallen angels came down from
heaven and had sex with human females. Farrell Till has an excellent article on this
ridiculous myth.

The idea that the gods came down and fathered offspring with human females is
found in many cultures, e.g. Hercules was the son of Zeus and Alcmena; Bacchus was
the son of Jupiter and Semele. Does anyone actually believe these things really
happened?

Misinterpretation, Mistranslation and Apologetics

Many criticism against arguments such as mine is that we have


misunderstood/misinterpreted the meaning of a particular verse, or "taken it out of
context". There are a number of "apologetics" websites which Christians use to
bolster their faith - these will say things like when Yahweh ordered a massacre, it
was necessary because the inhabitants of a particular city were evil and needed to
be exterminated, or they will try to explain away the contradictions in the accounts
of the death of Judas by saying that it was only in a "spiritual sense" that his body
burst open and his intestines fell out. Or that the unicorns, cockatrices, giants and
other fierce creatures mentioned in the Bible were actually just oxen, snakes and tall
people.
I would like to make the point though that these sites shouldn't be necessary. If
Yahweh exists and is a real fact in our universe, shouldn't this be as obvious as say
gravity, or the sun in the sky? You don't see sites with titles like "Helping the sun-
believer's faith that the sun really exists" - it is plain for everyone to see that the sun
exists. Surely if Yahweh existed it would be clear and obvious to everyone?

Also, an infinitely powerful creator would surely be capable of conveying a message


to his creations that was crystal clear, without *any* room for misunderstanding in
the first place? Why would he simply reveal his incredibly important message to a
bronze-age desert tribe and leave them to try to translate it for everyone else, given
the different world languages and the way languages evolve over time. Not only
that, but he allows hundreds of other "false" religions to flourish, making it even
more confusing.

I have read comments on some apologetics web sites saying that you cannot criticize
the English translations of the Bible - criticism can only be made by scholars with an
understanding of the original Hebrew/Greek texts. This simply proves my point - if
the English translations of the Bible do not represent with 100% accuracy the
message of the original text, then all bets are off and I cannot see why I should trust
any of it. A deity capable of creating the billions of galaxies would surely be capable
of delivering a clear message to his creations that doesn't require a professorship in
ancient languages.

And if humans have got it completely wrong about evolution/creation, and Yahweh
really did create the world in 6 days, why on earth do the vast majority of the
world's scientists think all the evidence points otherwise? Surely Yahweh could have
foreseen the confusion and made it extremely obvious how he created everything,
and his "word" would corroborate the evidence found by scientists?

Goblinology

It has also been said that you cannot criticize Christianity without having undertaken
an in-depth study of theology. Ok, so imagine the following: there are large numbers
of people who believe in goblins. Even though nobody has ever seen a goblin, you
can take degree and even doctorate courses in goblinology, the study of goblins.
Goblinogians throughout the centuries have written detailed dissertations on the
nature of goblins, and spend many hours discussing how humans should relate to
the goblins. In Britain, a really senior member of the Goblican Church can gain a
place in the second chamber of Government, and direct British Government policy
and how it should interpret the will of the goblins. Schoolchildren are required by
law to sing praises to the goblin king every morning.
Different schools of thought exist about the relationships between the different
kinds of goblins, for example, doctrinal interpretations about the difference between
the goblin and the hobgoblin (described as an "ineffable mystery") have caused
schisms in the world of goblinology, with different Goblinogians accusing each other
of heresy. Hundreds of books have been written about how to contact goblins and
even reach the world of the goblins, even though nobody has ever seen this place.
Some Goblinogians even say that humans who deny the existence of goblins will be
eventually thrown into the fires of Mount Doom (the abode of Sauron), although
some Goblinogians disagree with this, and in any case, nobody has ever seen such a
place.

Ok, so are you really suggesting that I cannot criticize Goblinology and Goblinogians
without first having spent years poring over The Lord of the Rings (not the paperback
version, it has to be the original version as penned by Tolkien)?

The Missing Commandment

Leviticus 20:28: "Thou shalt not lie with a man or a woman against their will; this is
an abomination"

Don't bother looking up that verse, Leviticus 20:28 doesn't actually exist, I made it
up. Given that Yahweh carefully laid out a detailed set of laws governing sexual
morality, isn't it a bit strange that he forgot to include the most basic of human
rights, the right not to be forced into sexual activity against your will? This is a
fundamental right recognized by all civilized human beings, and yet somehow
Yahweh forgot to include it, yet managed to include a commandment not to sleep
with your uncle's wife!

Let's have a look at Yahweh's laws on sex:

Leviticus 20:10 If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the
adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.

Leviticus 20:11 The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's
nakedness; both of them shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.

Leviticus 20:12 If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to
death; they have committed perversion, their blood is upon them.

Leviticus 20:13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have
committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.
Leviticus 20:14 If a man takes a wife and her mother also, it is depravity; they shall
be burned to death, both he and they, that there may be no depravity among you.

Leviticus 20:15 If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he shall be put to death;
and you shall kill the animal.

Leviticus 20:16 If a woman approaches any animal and has sexual relations with it,
you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall be put to death, their blood is
upon them.

Leviticus 20:17 If a man takes his sister, a daughter of his father or a daughter of his
mother, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace, and
they shall be cut off in the sight of their people; he has uncovered his sister's
nakedness, he shall be subject to punishment.

Leviticus 20:18 If a man lies with a woman having her sickness and uncovers her
nakedness, he has laid bare her flow and she has laid bare her flow of blood; both of
them shall be cut off from their people.

Leviticus 20:19 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister or of your
father's sister, for that is to lay bare one's own flesh; they shall be subject to
punishment.

Leviticus 20:20 If a man lies with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's
nakedness; they shall be subject to punishment; they shall die childless.

Leviticus 20:21 If a man takes his brother's wife, it is impurity; he has uncovered his
brother's nakedness; they shall be childless.

How many people actually need to be commanded not to sleep with an animal, or
their Aunt? Yet Yahweh doesn't seem to forbid the grievous crime of rape when
spelling out his detailed laws on sex. If there was ever any more obvious proof that
the Bible is not the word of an infinitely wise and moral creator, this is surely it.

Actually, Yahweh even says that if a woman is raped in a city, she should be stoned
to death because she didn't cry out. Only women raped in the country are spared
from being stoned:

Deuteronomy 22:23-25 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband,


and a man find her in the city, and lie with her, then ye shall bring them both out
unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the
damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath
humbled his neighbor’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. But if a
man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her:
then the man only that lay with her shall die.

Homosexuality

Evangelical Christianity: the doctrine that there exists an absolutely powerful,


infinitely knowledgeable, universe-spanning entity that has a deep, personal interest
in your sex life

Leviticus 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of
them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood
shall be upon them.

What has Yahweh got against the harmless practice of homosexuality? What
consenting adults do in private that doesn't do anyone any harm surely can't be that
offensive? Does Yahweh really find it that objectionable that people who practice it
must be put to death?

Firstly, it doesn't do anyone any harm. It is possible that it was frowned upon by
some primitive desert tribes as they needed to maintain their numbers, but surely
when the world population is 6 billion and rising, homosexuals are actually helping
to save the planet!

Secondly, it is quite obvious that nobody consciously chooses their sexuality. I am


heterosexual, but this wasn't something I chose. I didn't wake up one day and think
"After carefully weighing up both options, I think I'll become a heterosexual". It is
ingrained; you have as much control over your sexuality as you do your eye color.

Given that it clearly has a biological/genetic cause, we should expect to see


homosexuality in nature. This is of course what occurs, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_animals. Is Yahweh going to punish
homosexual animals for following their natural desires?

Given that eating shellfish is also described by Leviticus as "an abomination", why
aren't Christians protesting outside seafood restaurants? See
http://www.godhatesshrimp.com

If you have never read the "Open letter to Dr Laura", have a look at the text below.
This was sent to Dr Laura Schlessinger who famously said that homosexuality is an
abominaton according to Leviticus 18:22 .
Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned
a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people
as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I
simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of
debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and
how to best follow them.

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the
Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to
them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day
and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of
menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried
asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided
they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this
applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states
he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev.
11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle
this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my
sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20,
or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their
temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but
may I still play football if I wear gloves?
My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the
same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of
thread. (cotton/polyester blend) He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it
really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to
stone them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family
affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Weak Christian Arguments

Here are some of the weak arguments that Christians have sometimes made in favor
of Christianity; some of these come from friends and family, others from
newgroup/messageboard debates or even from Christian evangelists who have
stopped me at random in the street. Most of these are easily dealt with but it's
useful to list some of their arguments so that you have a response ready if ever
faced with any of these. If you have been on the receiving end of any similar claims,
feel free to forward them to me.

1. You can't prove Christianity isn't true

I don't have to. If you are the one making the claim, the burden of proof rests
with you. If I claim that I am a descendant of King Henry VIII, or claim that
Elvis is alive and well and working in my local supermarket, or that world
events are manipulated by the Illuminati, it is not your job to prove me
wrong, it is my job to prove my claims are true.

2. You can't disprove the existence of God/Yahweh

You can't disprove the existence of fairies, dragons or the Easter Bunny. Nor
can you disprove the existence of Zeus, Mithras, Thor or any of the other
gods that humans have believed in. As Carl Sagan once said, "Extraordinary
claims require extraordinary proof". If you tell me you have a rabbit in your
garden I would probably believe you. If however you tell me that you have a
unicorn in your garden, you had better come up with some extremely
convincing proof.
3. The Earth is exactly the right distance from the Sun; a few miles nearer and it
would be too hot, a few miles further out and it would be too cold (I was told
this by a preacher on London's Underground network)

For some reason this very poor argument is given as proof that the Christian
god Yahweh exists. Of course, if the Earth was in a different orbit around the
sun, we wouldn't be here. Maybe if it were on a very slightly different orbit,
different creatures would have evolved and lizard-type creatures or very
hairy creatures would be wondering why the Earth was at an orbit perfect for
them. In any case, there are countless planets with an orbit totally unsuitable
for life - and there is nobody on those planets to notice it, Mars and Venus for
a start. In fact, the vast majority of planets in the universe appear to have an
orbit unsuitable for life, which makes the creator extremely wasteful!
Logically, any creatures who find themselves calculating their planet's orbit
around its star must by definition find that their planet has an orbit suitable
for life. Doh!

4. The universe is so finely tuned, it must have been created

Fine, Zeus created it. Seriously, just because the universe is complex and we
have no idea why it exists, it does not therefore mean that the Hebrew war-
deity Yahweh created it. It could just as well have been Zeus, Poseidon, Thor
or some unknown deity, or even extremely advanced beings from another
dimension.

5. Millions of people believe in Jesus, so Christianity *must* be true

Millions of people also believe in astrology, that doesn't make it true. The
number of people who believe in something has absolutely no relation to
whether it is true or not.

6. Historical evidence for such-and-such a city mentioned in the Bible proves the
Bible is true

Nonsense. Just because an archaeologist finds evidence that a city existed,


this doesn't prove all the supernatural stuff is also correct. Does the existence
of Baghdad prove that flying carpets, magic lamps and genies exist?

7. Hitler and Stalin were atheists

We are *all* atheists about the majority of gods that humans have ever
believed in. You are an atheist with respect to Zeus, Baal, Thor, Wodan, Isis &
Osiris, Bacchus, Horus, Dionysus, Mithras, etc. Your definition of "atheist" is
"somebody who doesn't believe in Yahweh".

8. Evolution is "only a theory"

People making this statement clearly have no idea what the word "theory"
actually means. Hardly anything is known with absolute certainty, even your
own existence is open to some doubt - for example, you might not actually be
sitting in that chair reading this, you could simply be a brain in a vat
somewhere with all your senses wired up to inputs controlled by a mad
scientist. A theory is a hypothesis about the world/universe that can be
backed up with evidence, but is also open to being disproved. Virtually all of
science is comprised of theories - with the exception of some mathematical
proofs such as Pythagoras theorem, there is hardly anything that is 100%
proven beyond any possible doubt. Even Einstein's theories of relativity are
not proven beyond any doubt, although they are heavily supported by
evidence. I recommend Simon Singh's book "Fermat's Last Theorem" if you
want to get a better idea about the difference between a theory/conjecture
and a proof. Evolution is a theory about how species change and adapt and is
backed up by evidence from geology and biology, as well as being the only
explanation by which something complex can arise from simple beginnings
(unlike so-called "Intelligent Design"). Read "The Blind Watchmaker" or
"Climbing Mount Improbable" by Richard Dawkins to get a better idea of how
evolution works. Evolution, like any theory, could very easily be disproved by
a single piece of evidence. The scientist J.B.S. Haldane, when asked what
would constitute evidence against evolution, famously said, "Fossil rabbits in
the Precambrian". Nothing like this has ever been found.

9. Your position is just as much a faith/belief as Christianity

No, my position is an absence of belief in supernatural beings. If this is a faith,


then "not playing football" is a sport.

10. You just take verses from the Bible out of context

That tired old argument, the last resort of a desperate Christian who can't
think of a better response. Taking something out of context means that you
change the apparent meaning of a piece of text by removing it from its
surrounding text. For example, suppose I was quoted as having said the
following:

"hate all black people"


This is an awful thing to say, but see what happens when I put it in its original
context, because what I actually said was:

"I think it is terrible that there are racists who hate all black people just
because they are different"

Now that is taking something out of context - totally changing its meaning by
removing it from the surrounding text. Ok, so now tell me how I am taking
these verses from Ezekial 9:4-6 out of context:

And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the
midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh
and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to
the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and
smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young,
both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man
upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the
ancient men which were before the house.

Christian reader, please tell me how to interpret the bold text above in
context, so I can understand how a loving deity can order the murder of little
children.

You can't Choose your Beliefs

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
damned." - Mark 16:16

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God
raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." - Romans 10:9

This is the main criteria for salvation according to the Bible - you must believe that
Jesus rose from the dead. If you disbelieve this, you will go to hell. Many of us have
heard this over and over again but haven't really given it much thought. Consider
this however - do you actually have any conscious control over your beliefs, or is this
actually an illusion? Philosophers have debated for ages whether we have free will
or not, but I would argue that we certainly cannot choose what we believe. You
might think you do, but think about this clearly and you will see that you cannot
consciously choose whether or not to believe something.

If you are not convinced, try the following exercises:


Try to believe that Santa Claus exists and delivers presents from a sleigh
pulled by flying reindeer
Try to believe that you are the reincarnation of Julius Caesar
Try really really hard to believe that Elvis didn't die but was taken by aliens to
the Andromeda Galaxy

Disbelief works in the same way:

Try to disbelieve that Bill Gates founded Microsoft


Try to disbelieve that there are other planets in the solar system
Try to disbelieve that the Roman Empire existed

Therefore, it logically follows that if you believe Jesus rose from the dead or not, this
isn't actually a conscious decision you have made and therefore cannot be held
responsible for it.

What's that? You don't believe me? Fair enough, now try to change that. See what I
mean ;-)

A Natural Explanation for "Sin"

Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth,
and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually

Romans 3:23 "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Psalm 51:5 "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived
me."

According to the Bible, humans are evil/selfish at heart and require Yahweh's
grace/forgiveness. The reason for this is that the first humans disobeyed Yahweh
and since then, all humans have been born sinful. Whether you take the story in
Genesis literally or not this is the overall message of the Bible. I think most people
would agree that humans are basically selfish, in other words they usually put their
own interests ahead of others, and the Bible calls this "sin".

However, a totally natural explanation exists which is far simpler and does away with
the need for such nonsense. It is this: the world is a hostile place containing a vast
number of creatures, all competing for space and resources. All living creatures are
composed of genes which influence not just the physical characteristics of the
creature, but also its behavior. Now, imagine that there is a scale - at one end there
exists a gene that influences its host to not pay a lot of attention to its needs, stuff
like food, warmth, the need to reproduce. At the other end of this scale is a gene
that influences its host to give these areas very high priority and to put its interests
first. Over millions of years, which genes do you think are more likely to survive and
propagate themselves, and which genes are likely to end up being removed from the
gene pool? Simple really. Genes that influence their host to look after its needs will
thrive, those that won't will disappear and the hosts are likely to become extinct.
Repeat this process endlessly and you end up with life on Earth, and anyone who has
watched a nature program on the TV will immediately understand the outcome.

Richard Dawkins explains this in his superb book "The Selfish Gene" which I
recommend - if you have not come across this idea before it will really open your
eyes.

Before I close, I want to clear up a common misconception that people have about
the Selfish Gene theory proposed by Dawkins. At first glance it looks pretty bleak -
selfish, dominating organisms will survive at the expense of the weak - this is often
used as a criticism of natural selection (not that this has any bearing on whether the
theory is true or not). However, Dawkins goes on to explain that any organism that
behaved in a totally selfish way would not actually get very far as it would not be
accepted by its peers. Natural selection actually favors those genes/organisms that
co-operate with other organisms, not merely exploit them. So natural selection
actually produces creatures that although they will generally put their own interests
first, are perfectly capable of being good to each other and co-operating.

So there we have it. Two different theories on why humans are often selfish. One
says that people are selfish because a man and woman ate a forbidden fruit from a
magical tree in a paradise garden and involves supernatural forces of good and evil,
the other uses a modern understanding of genetics. I recommend the use of
Occam's Razor "the simplest solution is most likely to be correct".

In Defense of Adam and Eve

"In the beginning, there was nothing. And God said, 'Let there be light'. And there
was still nothing, but now you could see it" - Terry Pratchett

I want to write something in defense of Adam and Eve. Not that I actually believe in
that silly fairy story, but for a moment let's assume that it is true. Every school child
knows the story - Yahweh creates Adam and Eve, leaves them in the garden of Eden
with strict instructions not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and
evil. The serpent convinces Eve to eat the fruit, Eve gives some to Adam, then
Yahweh finds out and banishes from them from Eden - then you get the whole thing
about original sin, etc.
Let's have a closer look at the story. Picture in your head Adam and Eve in the
garden. You probably have in your head an image of a man and a woman, both fully-
grown adults. However, this is misguiding - they were not fully grown adults in the
sense that we understand the idea. Any adult who has grown up in the world today
will have spent many years accumulating experience - firstly spending a few years as
a baby/toddler, then a child, then a teenager and then a young adult. Most civilized
countries do not permit their citizens to perform a range of activities such as voting,
drinking alcohol, getting married, joining the armed forces etc until they are around
18-21 years old when it is generally agreed that the person is mature enough to
handle these responsibilities. Not only that, but there are usually laws requiring the
parents of such children to look after them and ensure their wellbeing, education
and upbringing - this responsibility normally continues until the child is fully grown
up. This is because civilized societies know that without those years of experience, a
human being is not fit to make decisions for themselves.

Although Genesis doesn't actually say how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden of
Eden before they ate the forbidden fruit, there is no reason to think that they didn't
do this fairly soon after they were created. Think about it - a toddler at playgroup
probably has more accumulated life experience than Adam and Eve had! So what
does Yahweh do with these innocent beings? Does he protect them from the
obvious danger like any decent parent? No - he leaves them alone with the cunning
and devious serpent, and a tree with delicious looking fruit which was as lethal to
Adam and Eve as a vial of cyanide. Poor old Eve never stood a chance as it was
hardly a fair contest of wills - innocent Eve with probably no more than a couple of
days life experience against wily old Satan*, the prince of darkness himself.

Where was Yahweh when this unfair contest was going on? Can you imagine the
outcry today if a parent left their 18 month old toddler alone with a devious pervert
who asks the child: "Would you like some sweeties, little girl?", knowing that the
child is in mortal danger? If any parent deliberately and knowingly did this they
would be convicted of cruelty and willful neglect by just about any court in any
country on earth. And what does Yahweh do afterwards - does he do what any
normal parent would do and rescue the child, offering forgiveness and destroying
the dangerous serpent - no, he blames poor old Adam and Eve and banishes them
forever.

If I were a lawyer I would find Adam and Eve innocent of any crime and find Yahweh
guilty of gross negligence and willful neglect of a child.

It is worth noting in this sad fable that at no point does it say anywhere that this act
of "disobedience" by Adam and Even caused the horrible concept known as "original
sin" - the reason Adam and Eve were banished from Eden was "lest he put forth his
hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever" (Genesis 3:22).
Presumably the tree of life and the "Cherubim with the flaming sword" (Genesis
3:24) were removed from the world at some point as they clearly aren't here any
more...

* Actually - nowhere in the story (and even the entire Old Testament as far as I am
aware) does it say that the serpent was actually Satan. What is actually says in
Genesis 3:1 is "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the
LORD God had made". Where does it say that the serpent is actually the devil in
disguise? Since the fall of Adam & Eve is the entire starting point of Christianity, why
would the author leave out such an important point? It would have been so simple
to write "Now the Devil, Satan, disguised in the form of a serpent...". Why didn't the
author do this? Simple really, because the serpent simply isn't Satan - merely a crafty
talking snake. If the serpent was actually Satan in disguise, why the curse in Genesis
3:14? "So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are
you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will
eat dust all the days of your life." Yahweh is cursing the serpent, not a devil in
disguise. Imagine a criminal who robs a bank dressed up as a clown. When he is
caught, imagine if the judge's sentence was "all clowns are sentenced to 5 years in
prison". This is so obvious but you will never hear anyone in church questioning
whether Satan and the serpent are actually one and the same.

Healing

At my church we occasionally had a "healing service". This involved praying for


somebody in the church, or one of their relatives/friends who was sick. Over a
period of time I began to notice something. If the person got better, it was a miracle
and everyone praised Yahweh. If the person didn't get better or even died, it was
said that this was "God's will" and "God moves in mysterious ways". Not only that
but if someone was "healed" it was always some kind of condition that often clears
up by itself anyway. Richard Dawkins once pointed out that whenever Christians
claim a healing, it is always something like cancer that is known to sometimes
spontaneously disappear, you never hear of an amputee regrowing a severed limb.
See http://www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com/

Meanwhile here's a joke:

At a healing service the preacher shouts "God wants to heal people tonight! Come
forward if you want a miracle!". Bob, who needs crutches to walk as his legs are
damaged, goes up to the front. Sam, who suffers a speech impediment, also goes up
to the front. The preacher hears about their conditions and tells the cheering crowd
that God is going to heal them. He takes Bob and Sam behind a curtain and starts
praying for them. The crowd leans forward in anticipation. Suddenly the preacher
shouts "Bob, God has healed you - throw away your crutches and WALK!" The crowd
shouts "hallelujah!" as Bob hurls his crutches into the air. Then the preacher shouts
"Sam, God has healed you - SPEAK!". The crowd is silent in awe. Suddenly, Sam's
voice is heard from behind the curtain: "B-B-B-B-B-Bob's f-f-f-f-f-fallen o-o-o-o-ver".

The Word of God?

If you were brought up in a Christian family, you have probably been told from the
earliest age that the Bible is "God's Word" - it is a book written (or dictated) by God
himself, and you may even have been taught this verse from 2 Timothy 3:14-17:

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and
training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for
every good work.

However, have you ever stopped to think how the Bible was actually compiled? Was
it faxed down from heaven? Did it suddenly appear in a flash of light in front of
thousands of devotees? Did angels personally hand a leather-bound copy to St.
Peter? Actually no, the answer is far more mundane. I will specifically focus on the
New Testament. Firstly though you need to understand a bit about what was
happening in Rome in around 300AD. The Roman Emperor Constantine was irritated
as there were many different cults all competing for attention throughout the
ancient world. Each cult had its own claims, its own prophets and its own scriptures.
Constantine found this alarming and wanted an official state religion. The Romans
considered making Mithraism the official religion of the Roman Empire, and if this
had happened you would probably have huge churches and evangelists today
devoted to the worship of Mithra instead of Jesus. Anyway, Constantine approached
the leaders of one particular cult, Christianity, and offered to make their cult the
official religion of Rome if only they could settle all their doctrinal differences. You
see, despite what you are taught in Church, there never was a single version of
Christianity handed down since the apostles - there were many different versions
with widely differing beliefs - for example some believed in reincarnation, others
didn't actually believe in a literal Jesus or resurrection. There were numerous
"gospels" floating around, some of which actually survived and can be read today
(search the internet for "Gnostic Gospels").

Anyway, Christianity as we understand it today was defined in 325AD by the Council


of Nicaea. This council basically had to consider all the various texts and gospels and
decide which ones were the "Word of God" by means of a vote. If that seems
shocking to you, let me say it again: The books comprising "God's Word" were
decided by a vote! If you didn't realize this, this really should be your wake-up call.
Just picture the scene:

"I say that 2 Timothy is God's Word!"


"I agree!"
"I second that!"
"Nonsense!"
"What about the gospel of Philip? I want that in the Bible instead!"
"Heresy!"
"That's the work of the devil!"
"Stop this everyone! Right, let's have a show of hands. Hand's up everyone who
thinks 2 Timothy is the Word of God."
"Ok, the "Yes's" win that one - 2 Timothy is now officially God's Word"
"Next, the gospel of Philip"
"Fiction!"
"Total lies!"
"God's Word!"
"Right, the "No's" win that one - all copies of Philip's gospel are hereby ordered to be
burnt".
"NEXT!"

Ok, that that's just my take on the council of Nicaea and it didn't happen quite like
that, but I hope you get my point.

Excluded books

Just for interest, I have listed below a list of gospels and early writings that were
excluded from the Bible. Many Christians have probably never heard of these. You
can find most of them on the web and some of them make for interesting reading.
Apocryphon of James (also called the "Secret Book of James")
Authoritative Teaching
Book of Thomas the Contender
Dialogue of the Saviour
Eugnostos the Blessed
Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter
Gospel of Appelles
Gospel of Bardesanes
Gospel of Bartholomew
Gospel of Basilides
Gospel of Cerinthus
Gospel of Mani
Gospel of Marcion
Gospel of Mary (also called the "Gospel of Mary Magdalene")
Gospel of Nicodemus (also called the "Acts of Pilate")
Gospel of Peter
Gospel of Philip
Gospel of the Ebionites
Gospel of the Hebrews
Gospel of the Nazarenes
Greek Gospel of the Egyptians (distinct from the Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians)
Melchizedek
On the Origin of the World
Questions of Bartholomew
Resurrection of Jesus Christ
The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles
The Apocalypse of Adam
The Apocalypse of Paul
The Apocryphon of James (also known as the Secret Book of James)
The Apocryphon of John
The Book of Thomas the Contender
The Concept of Our Great Power
The Dialogue of the Saviour
The Exegesis on the Soul
The First Apocalypse of James
The Gospel of Philip
The Gospel of Thomas
The Gospel of Truth
The Gospel of the Egyptians
The Hypostasis of the Archons
The Letter of Peter to Philip
The Paraphrase of Shem
The Prayer of the Apostle Paul
The Second Apocalypse of James
The Second Treatise of the Great Seth
The Sophia of Jesus Christ
The Teachings of Silvanus
The Testimony of truth
The Thought of Norea
The Three Steles of Seth
The Thunder, Perfect Mind
The Treatise on the Resurrection
The Tripartite Tractate
Zostrianos
1 Maccabees
2 Maccabees

Bible Cosmology

Since the Bible was allegedly written by the creator of the universe, you'd think it
would be pretty accurate when it came to cosmology. Think again...

The earth has foundations, and rests on pillars:


1 Samuel 2:8: "to Yahweh belong the pillars of the earth, on these he has poised the
world. "
Isaiah 24:18: "the foundations of the earth tremble. "

The earth rests in water:


Psalms 136:6: "He set the earth firm on the waters"

The earth has four corners:


Revelation 7:1: "Next I saw four angels, standing at the four corners of the earth"

Hell is in the "heart of the Earth"


Matthew 12:40: "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly:
so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the Earth." -
note: this contradicts the resurrection story anyway - if Jesus died on Good Friday
and rose on Easter Sunday this is only 1 day and 2 nights.
Ephesians 4:9: "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first
into the lower parts of the Earth."

The earth does not move:


1 Chronicles 16:30: "He has fixed the earth firm, immovable."
Psalm 93:1: "Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ..."
Psalm 96:10: "He has fixed the earth firm, immovable ..."
Psalm 104:5: "Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be
shaken."
Isaiah 45:18: "...who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast..."

The earth is flat, because if you go really high up you can see all of it:
Daniel 4:10-11. "saw a tree of great height at the centre of the earth...reaching with
its top to the sky and visible to the earth's farthest bounds."
Matthew 4:8 "the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the
kingdoms of the world in their glory."

The stars can fall to the earth:


Revelation 12:4 "And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw
them to the earth"
Daniel 8:10 "And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some
of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them."
Matthew 24:29 (Jesus speaking) "Immediately after the tribulation of those days
shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall
fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

The stars can help fight in battles (astrology?)


Judges 5:20 "They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against
Sisera."

The sun and moon can stop in the sky:


Joshua 10:12-14: "Joshua said to the Lord, before the eyes of Israel, Sun, be at rest
over Gibeon; and you, O moon, in the valley of Aijalon. And the sun was at rest and
the moon kept its place till the nation had given punishment to their attackers. (Is it
not recorded in the book of Jashar?) So the sun kept its place in the middle of the
heavens, and was waiting, and did not go down, for the space of a day.

The sun can move backwards in the sky:


Isaiah 38:8 "Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down
in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by
which degrees it was gone down"

Mark Smith's site has an excellent drawing showing "Bible god’s universe" at
http://jcnot4me.com/Items/theology/the_universe.htm

It seems a little unfair to ridicule the writers of these texts. They didn't have the
benefit of living after Copernicus, Galileo and Einstein that we are fortunate enough
to have. However, given the large number of critical errors, there is no reason to
think that these texts are the word of the creator of the universe.

Final note - some Christians would say that these verses are allegorical, i.e. they are
not meant to be taken literally. If this is the case, how are you supposed to know
which verses should be taken literally and which shouldn't, as it doesn't make this
clear. Are the stories of people rising from the dead meant to be taken literally?
Should we take the resurrection literally? You cannot have your cake and eat it -
either we should believe what the Bible says, or we should regard all of it as open to
(mis)interpretation. Surely the creator would be able to foresee all the confusion
caused by his ramblings? Why couldn't he have made it simpler? (See my thoughts
on this)

Mary - A Young Woman, not a Virgin


The Christian idea that Jesus was born of a virgin is believed throughout
Christendom, yet how many people realize that the Bible states quite clearly that
Mary was not a virgin in the sense that we understand it today, i.e. a woman who
has never had sex.

Every schoolchild knows the story as told by Luke: "For it is through the holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him
Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child
and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."'

However, let's look at what the prophet (Isaiah) actually said, as written in most
modern Bibles: Isaiah 7:14 The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall
name him Immanuel.

Ok so far, all looks consistent, doesn't it?

However, let's look at what Isaiah actually wrote in Hebrew, the original language of
the Old Testament: Isaiah 7:14 The young woman shall be with child, and bear a son,
and shall name him Immanuel.

Eh, what's going on here? Quite simple really. The actual Hebrew word used by
Isaiah was "almah", which means young woman. The Hebrew word for our word
virgin is actually "bethulah" - when the gospel writers cooked up their piece of
fiction they mistranslated "almah" for "bethulah", and in the process created the
"Virgin Mary". Note that the New Testament was written in Greek, and the original
Greek word in Luke's gospel was 'parthenos' - a virgin in the modern sense. Actually
this mistranslation may have been deliberate, as no self-respecting son-of-god(s) in
the ancient world would have been taken seriously unless he were born of a virgin.
As Justin Martyr writes in the 2nd century: "And when we say also that the Word,
who is the first-born of God, was produced without sexual union.....we propound
nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of
Jupiter."

An excellent article that explains what Isaiah's prophecy really meant (and he isn't
talking about the birth of Jesus) can be found here:
http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2003/02/cornerstone-arguments-fundys-cant.php

There's No Free Will in Heaven

Logically, there cannot be free will in heaven. This is why:

1. Yahweh apparently gave human beings free will when he created them.
2. Humans were not created with a sinful nature, only free will
3. Humans chose to exercise their free will and disobeyed Yahweh - this is
known as "sin".
4. If people have free will in heaven, then sooner or later, somebody will choose
to exercise it and will have to be cast out. Eventually there will be nobody in
heaven.
5. Alternatively, to guarantee everyone who gets to heaven stays there, Yahweh
will have to ensure that nobody can choose to sin
6. If you cannot choose to sin, you have no free will
7. Ergo, there is no free will in heaven.

The way I see it, you can't have it both ways: either there is free will in heaven, and
presumably if there is free will somebody will choose to exercise it, or nobody can
choose to sin in heaven and therefore there is no free will and everyone in heaven is
an automaton.

Christians will argue that there is free will, but that they will choose not to sin
because their "sin nature" (caused by original sin) has been taken away. This is
nonsense, and the proof is Adam - Adam was not born with original sin, he was
(apparently) born with free will (which he exercised, leading to sin, death etc).

A further proof is this - if beings can logically have free will and also choose never to
sin, why didn't Yahweh just create them this way in the first place?

When is Jesus Coming Back?

Matthew 16:28:"Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here
who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."

Matthew 23:36:"I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."

Matthew 24:34 "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these
things be fulfilled."

Matthew 10:23:"When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say
to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes."

Jesus clearly promises that some of the people listening to him speak will not die
until he returns in glory. Obviously this did not happen.

Many Christians believe that Jesus is coming back soon, may even in the next few
decades. Sometimes people have bumper stickers saying "Jesus is coming - look
busy!". I have an alternative suggestion - if he does actually turn up, obviously most
of us are in deep trouble, so we should make a final stand and launch all of our
nukes at him - maybe all that stuff about him being invincible is just propaganda and
he isn't as tough as he says he is. At the very least, we would go down fighting
instead of just whimpering and groveling.

Why the Need to Believe?

The basis of Christianity is that you need to believe that Yahweh raised Jesus from
the dead in order to be saved. By believing in the resurrection, you are covered by
Jesus's death and therefore you can avoid punishment for your sins.

Firstly, why did Yahweh choose belief as the criteria for salvation? Presumably, if he
is infinitely powerful, he could have chosen some other criteria. Personally I would
have thought that a life of good works and charity would have been a more
appropriate choice. Yahweh chose a way that allows a believing murderer to access
heaven, but a non-believing person who spent a lifetime caring for others would go
to hell.

Secondly, why do you only get your lifetime on earth to become a believer? All the
preachers I've ever heard say that you only get one chance, and if you don't believe
in Jesus during your life there is no second chance after death? Now why should this
be the case? If he is "unwilling that any should perish" (2 Peter 3:9), there is a simple
solution - allow people to become Christians after their death! Surely Yahweh is
powerful enough that he could do this, or are his hands tied somehow?

Finally, why is Yahweh so obsessed with whether we believe in him or not? As


Richard Dawkins says, What if the creator of the universe is a scientist (he would
have to be!) who respects people who use reason, skepticism and rational thought!

The Right to Disbelieve

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
damned." - Jesus Christ (Mark 16:16)

Jesus states that those who believe he was raised from the dead (and is baptized)
shall be saved, whilst those who don't believe this will be damned. Let's consider
how reasonable this demand actually is. To do this I will refer to the writings of
Thomas Paine in The Age of Reason. Paine sums it up as follows:

Nobody is disputing that God has the right and the ability to reveal something
directly to a person, i.e. make a revelation to that person
However, if something has been revealed to a certain person, and not
revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only.
When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth,
and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons.
It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and,
consequently, they are not obliged to believe it.

Given that human beings cannot be trusted to tell the truth, I do not think it is
possible to mount a reasonable defense against the logic presented above. When I
am told that Jesus performed miracles, or rose up from the dead, I did not see this
myself; it comes to me via hearsay. In fact it is hearsay stacked on hearsay, since
many of the events in the Bible were not even recorded by the eyewitnesses
themselves! Therefore I cannot be required to believe it; I have a fundamental right
to disbelieve. If you and I can see the basic fairness and logic here - surely any
reasonable deity must see it also?

I thoroughly recommend reading the full text of The Age of Reason, as this is just one
of many good points made by Thomas Paine in his debunking of "revealed religion".

If Christianity is True

Let's assume for a moment that I'm completely wrong and evangelical Christianity is
true. Let's look at some ridiculous conclusions that you must arrive at if this is the
case. But first, a few clarifications from the Bible:

"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to
destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and
difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." - Matthew
7:13-15.

"But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me,
all you workers of iniquity.' There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth...." - Luke
13:23-28

"Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.""
- Rev 20:15

Assuming the above statements are true, statistically this means that the vast
majority of people born will end up suffering in hell for eternity. I hate to place a
figure on it, but let's assume 80% of people are not believers (Feel free to adjust as
required).

- since the world population is now around 66 billion, and to keep the calculations
simple, let assume that number of people are born & die each century. That means
that by the year 2100 roughly another 4,800,000,000 people will have entered the
eternal torments of hell. Assuming a projected world population of 9 billion in 50
years from now, that means that by the year 2200 the staggering figure of another
7,200,000,000 (that's over 7 billion) people will added to Yahweh's fiery torture
chamber. Assuming Jesus doesn't come back and call a halt to the whole sorry saga,
after another 2000 years another 144 billion souls will be burning in the flames. If
the human race lasts another 100,000 years (the estimated time Homo Sapiens has
been on Earth), the unimaginable number of 7,200,000,000,000 (that's 7.2 trillion)
people will have been added to the tormented population of hell (assuming a stable
world population).

If this is the case, it is a tragedy every time a new baby is born into this world, as
statistically this new human being has an 80% probability of ending up suffering
dreadfully for eternity. Surely it would be better for it not to be born? I cannot help
but think that this leads to the following bizarre conclusions:

We should aim to prevent any more babies from being born, ever. Every adult
human being should be sterilized immediately. All currently pregnant women
should have abortions.
All babies/children under the age of 10 (or whatever age people grow up and
decide to reject Jesus) should be immediately killed to ensure that they don't
reject Jesus as an adult and end up in hell. I'm assuming that Jesus doesn't
punish non-believing children.
We should aim to ensure the immediate and total extinction of the human
race, preferably by employing our best scientists to create a lethal chemical
or biological agent that only wipes out the humans and leaves the plants &
animals alone.
If these measures don't work, as a last resort we should detonate all the
world's nuclear weapons at once - the instant annihilation of a few billion
people and the absolute end of life on earth would be a trivial price to pay to
prevent over 7 trillion people from entering hell for eternity. Not a single
human being, or even a fragment of human DNA must be allowed to survive -
every person alive, including all the tribes in distant jungles, must be
exterminated to prevent Adam's curse of original sin from inflicting any more
damage. We would need a titanic global thermonuclear war, or better still,
we could try to knock the earth out of its current orbit and into the sun - that
should do it.

Conclusion
If Christianity is true, it logically follows that engineering our total extinction would
prevent untold suffering by vast numbers of people in the future. Are there any
Christians who disagree with my conclusions? Is it better to leave things as they are
& allow trillions of souls to suffer the horrors of everlasting damnation? Of course,
the Christian would argue that the correct thing to do is to evangelize more &
convert those people, but consider this - after 2000 years of Christianity, the vast
majority of people *still* don't believe in it therefore this is extremely unlikely to
change in future.

The Limited, Finite, Inexperienced, Male Christian God

1/3 The limited, finite god


This page argues that the Christian god Yahweh, if he exists, is limited, finite and
inexperienced. Christians like to claim that Yahweh is omnipresent, meaning he is
everywhere. But clearly in Christian theology there is something that is God, and
something that is not-God, i.e. the universe, the world, Satan, human beings. This
means that the Christian god is not infinite, if there is something that is "not-God".

To put it another way: Here is the Christian god Yahweh:

And here is something that is "not-God" (the universe). He supposedly created it, but
is not it - it is separate from God, as are you and me:
Here's something else that is "not-God":

So as you can see, the Christian god Yahweh is limited and finite. Reality can be
divided into "God-over-there" and "other-stuff-over-here". Note that in some other
religions such as Hinduism, God (Brahman) is defined as "All there is", there is
nothing that is "not-God". The Christian god Yahweh pales into insignificance
compared with the infinite majesty of the the Hindu God. Even if Christianity were
true and Hinduism were false, the fact that Brahman even exists as a logical
possibility shows up the limitations of the Christian god.

2/3 The inexperienced god


The second part of this page demonstrates the the Christian god, as well as being
finite, is inexperienced. How much of human life has he experienced? Ok, so he
supposedly incarnated as a man for 33 years. Big deal. How much can he have
experienced in one fairly short lifespan. Has the Christian god Yahweh ever:

Experienced a miscarriage?........NO!
Sat up all night with a crying baby?........NO!
Experienced a divorce?........NO!
Undergone the nerve-wracking ordeal of a job interview?........NO!
Groaned in disappointment when his favorite football team concedes a
goal?........NO!
Been made bankrupt?........NO!
And finally, has he ever experienced a lack of faith?........NO! The biggest thing
he never experienced was a lack of faith. Jesus was always sure that he was
God, he never experienced doubt or a lack of faith (apparently). The thing he
most demands of us - blind faith - he never experienced the need for.

3/3 The male god


The Christian god Yahweh is clearly a male, which presumably means he has a Y
chromosome, lots of testosterone and a penis. Seriously, whenever you read the
Bible Yahweh is always referred to as a "he", and all the main characters in the Bible
were men (including Yahweh's "only son"). Ok I know there are some female
characters in the Bible, but it's hardly on a par with even the gods and goddesses of
ancient Greece. Surely this is a very strong indication that the Bible was written by
men.

If reading this page has made you think about the pathetic, limited, finite god of
Christianity, may I suggest you read the "Conversations with God" series by Neale
Donald Walsch to get an idea of what a proper God should be like. I'm not 100%
convinced the God in this interesting series is real, but s/he is a massive
improvement on the dreadful Yahweh.

Errors in the Bible

False testimony is always good against itself - Thomas Paine

Many Christians believe that the Bible is "inerrant", i.e. because it is the "Word of
God" it cannot contain any errors or contradictions. However, this is clearly not the
case as can be shown below. Many apologetics sites will try to explain these away
using various interpretations, but why should this even be necessary? If a perfect
and infinitely knowledgeable creator wrote a book, you would expect it to be
amazingly clear to everyone, not full of confusing texts that need to be interpreted.
After all, 1 Corinthians 14:33 says "For God is not the author of confusion but of
peace...."

How many disciples - eleven or twelve?


Copy & Paste!
How did Zedekiah die?
How long was Jesus in the tomb?
Where did the disciples first see the risen Jesus?
How did Judas die?
How many stalls of horses did Solomon have?
The genealogy of Jesus
How old was Ahaziah when he began to reign?
Who was Abijam's mother?
How did Saul first meet David?
Who was Belshazzar's father?

How many disciples - eleven or twelve?


Matthew 19:28: And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have
followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his
glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

According to Matthew, Jesus tells the twelve disciples that they will sit on
thrones...yet in John he clearly knows that Judas will betray him (presumably he
wouldn't allow a "devil" to sit on a throne):

John 6:70-71 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a
devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray
him, being one of the twelve.

Judas hangs himself before the crucifixion: Matthew 27:5 And he cast down the
pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

Yet 1 Corinthians 15:4-5 says that Jesus appeared to the twelve: And that he was
buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he
was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

What is going on here? Firstly, Jesus doesn't seem to realize that one of his disciples
won't be sitting on a throne because he would kill himself; then the author of 1
Corinthians states that Jesus appeared to the twelve, not realizing that it would
actually have been eleven as Judas was dead.

Copy & Paste!

Examine verses 22-23 of 2 Chronicles chapter 36: In the first year of Cyrus king of
Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved
the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to
put it in writing: "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: 'The LORD, the God of
heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build
a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you—may the
LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.' " [end of the book]

Now compare this with Ezra chapter 1 verses 1-2: In the first year of Cyrus king of
Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved
the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to
put it in writing: "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: 'The LORD, the God of
heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build
a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you—may his
God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of
the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem.' "

Now how is it possible that such a stupid copy & paste error can appear in "God's
Word"? With a single stroke, this utterly demolishes any claim by the
fundamentalists that the Bible is inerrant. Even if you do not consider the Bible to be
inerrant, why on earth should we be expected to put our trust into a text compiled
in such a shoddy manner?

How did Zedekiah die?

Zedekiah must have been relieved at this promise from Yahweh that he would have
a nice peaceful death...

Jeremiah chapter 34, verse 4: Yet hear the promise of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of
Judah. This is what the LORD says concerning you: You will not die by the sword; you
will die peacefully. As people made a funeral fire in honor of your fathers, the former
kings who preceded you, so they will make a fire in your honor and lament, "Alas, O
master!" I myself make this promise, declares the LORD.

But Jeremiah chapter 52, verse 10 tells the unfortunate truth: ...the king of Babylon
slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes; he also killed all the officials of
Judah. Then he put out Zedekiah's eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took
him to Babylon, where he put him in prison till the day of his death.

I suppose dying after spending the rest of your life shackled and in prison after
having your eyes gouged out could _just about_ be described as "peaceful", but if I
were employing Jeremiah as a prophet I would strongly encourage him to find
alternative employment.

How long was Jesus in the tomb?

Jesus says in Matthew chapter 12, verse 40: "For as Jonah was three days and three
nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three
nights in the heart of the earth".

But this is not even close - he was "in the heart of the earth" only one day and two
nights, about 36 hours instead of 72; that is, the Friday night, the Saturday, and the
Saturday night; for they say he was up on the Sunday morning by sunrise.
Where did the disciples first see the risen Jesus?

Matthew chapter 28, verse 10 says that Jesus appeared to two women and said:"Do
not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to a mountain in Galilee, there they will
see me." Matthew chapter 28, verse 16 confirms that the disciples went to Galilee as
instructed:Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus
had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

However, a completely contradictory account is given in Luke chapter 24, verse 33


which clearly says that the first time the disciples saw the risen Jesus was in
Jerusalem: They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the
eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, "It is true! The Lord has
risen and has appeared to Simon." Then the two told what had happened on the
way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. While they
were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them,
"Peace be with you." They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.

John chapter 20, verse 19: says that the disciples were hiding behind locked doors
:On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with
the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said,
"Peace be with you!" After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The
disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

These are not separate occasions where the disciples met Jesus - both of these
accounts clearly describe the first time the disciples met Jesus after his resurrection.
One says they went to a mountain as part of a pre-arranged meeting, the other says
they were hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews! How can these
contradictory accounts possibly be reconciled?

How did Judas die?

Matthew 27, verse 5: So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he
went away and hanged himself.

Acts 1, 18: Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all
his intestines spilled out.
How many stalls of horses did Solomon have?

1 Kings 4:26: "And Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000
horsemen"

2 Chron. 9:25: "Now Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots and 12,000
horsemen"

Clearly this is a copying error, but it demonstrates once and for all that the Bible is
not inerrant. How on earth did Yahweh allow such errors to creep into "his word"? If
we can't trust some parts of it to be correct, why should we trust any of it? Compare
this with the writings of other great historical figures, Euclid for example - his book
"Elements" was written in 300BC and was faithfully reproduced down the
generations without errors, so why is the Christian Bible unable to achieve the same,
given that its author is supposed to be Yahweh himself?

The genealogy of Jesus


Take a look at the two separate genealogies of Jesus as described in the gospels of
Matthew and Luke. Well, actually you aren't supposed to, as 1 Timothy 1:4 says that
you must "Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies". There are only 4
names that actually match. And another thing - given that Jesus was supposed to
have been born of a virgin, why is Joseph even mentioned at all?
Genealogies of Jesus from Matthew and Luke (David to Jesus)
1. David 1. David
2. Solomon 2. Nathan
3. Robomoam 3. Mattatha
4. Abia 4. Menan
5. Asa 5. Melea
6. Josaphat 6. Eliakim
7. Joram 7. Jonan
8. Ozias 8. Joseph
9. Joatham 9. Juda
10. Achaz 10. Simeon
11. Ezekias 11. Levi
12. Manasses 12. Matthat
13. Amon 13. Jorim
14. Josias 14. Eliezer
15. Jecohnias 15. Jose
16. Salathiel 16. Er
17. Zorobabel 17. Elmodam
18. Abiud 18. Cosam
19. Eliakim 19. Addi
20. Azor 20. Melchi
21. Sadoc 21. Neri
22. Achim 22. Salathiel
23. Eliud 23. Zorobabel
24. Eleazar 24. Rhesa
25. Matthan 25. Joanna
26. Jacob 26. Juda
27. Joseph 27. Joseph
28. Jesus 28. Semei
29. Mattathias
30. Maath
31. Nagge
32. Esli
33. Naum
34. Amos
35. Mattathias
36. Joseph
37. Janna
38. Melchi
39. Levi
40. Matthat
41. Heli
42. Joseph
43. Jesus

How old was Ahaziah when he began to reign?


2 Kings 8:26 - Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign.

2 Chronicles 22:2 - Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign.

Who was Abijam's mother?


1 Kings 15:1-2 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned
Abijam over Judah. Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was
Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.
2 Chronicles 13:1-2 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to
reign over Judah. Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was
Michaiah the daughter of Uriel.

How did Saul first meet David?


When he heard David playing music: 1 Samuel 16:17-21 And Saul said unto his
servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. Then
answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the
Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of
war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.
Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which
is with the sheep. And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a
kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. And David came to Saul, and stood
before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armor bearer.

After David slew Goliath: 1 Samuel 17:55-58 And when Saul saw David go forth
against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son
is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell. And the king
said, Enquire thou whose son the stripling is. And as David returned from the
slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the
head of the Philistine in his hand. And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou
young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.

Who was Belshazzar's father?

Normally I prefer not to go outside the Bible when exposing errors and
contradictions, but in this case I will make an exception. Daniel chapter 5 clearly says
that Nebuchadnezzar was the father of Belshazzar. However, historical records show
that in fact, Nabonidus was the father of Belshazzar; see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belshazzar. I don't think I could do a better job than
Farrell Till of explaining this, so I'm simply going to link to his site, see
http://www.theskepticalreview.com/JFTDanielFatherSon.html

No Justice

The doctrine of Christianity is that human sin needed to be punished, and therefore
Yahweh came down to Earth in the person of Jesus to take this punishment upon
himself. Through Christ's sacrifice, human sin can be forgiven and humans can enter
the presence of Yahweh.
However, think about this a bit more deeply. How has justice been served by an
innocent party taking the punishment of the guilty? If I am guilty of stealing and am
sentenced to a year in prison, and a friend of mine takes the prison sentence in my
place while I go home scott-free, this isn't justice. Instead of justice being served,
what has actually happened is that two wrongs have been committed! It isn't justice
if an innocent person is punished and a guilty person goes free - it is a double-
perversion of justice.

Thomas Paine in The Age of Reason makes the point that we need to distinguish
between a debt and a crime. Christians often talk about Jesus paying our "debt", but
Paine puts it like this: supposing I owe my bank manager 1000 pounds. You could
come along and pay my debt for me, and this is fine. However, if I have committed a
crime, there is no way that you can take my punishment - justice is only served if the
guilty person is punished.

And another thing - if Yahweh is so keen to forgive sins, why not just forgive them -
why this need to transfer the guilt onto a third party? The Israelites used to "transfer
their sins" onto a sacrificial goat who was killed to appease Yahweh (this is where
the word "scapegoat" comes from). How insane is this? When my children are
naughty, I tell them off and then forgive them. Imagine if instead, I told them that
they would only be forgiven after they had fetched a rabbit from the garden and
nailed it to the garden fence!

Also, as Thomas Paine pointed out, if "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23), why
did Jesus have to be whipped, tortured and killed in a thoroughly unpleasant and
humiliating way? A death from a fever would have been perfectly adequate, or he
could simply have been killed quickly with a sword.

When was this Perfect World?

Romans 5.12: Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death
through sin, and so death spread to all men..."

Romans 5:14: death reigned from Adam to Moses

Christians say that in the beginning, Yahweh created the world and he was pleased.
Man and nature lived in harmony together, until man disobeyed Yahweh, leading to
the sorry state of the world that we see today. The whole of the Christian faith
depends upon this doctrine, for without it there is no original sin, and no need for a
savior.

The problem is, there never was such a perfect world. Nobody really knows for sure
how life began, but it's beyond doubt that billions of years ago, there were no
humans, just simple life-forms. Ever since one of them figured out it was more
efficient to convert another life-form into energy than to get it from sunlight, it's
been dog eat dog, kill or be killed, pure survival of the fittest. This has continued to
be the case for the last few billion years, and it's only recently that humans arrived
on the scene. Even if you don't believe we share a common ancestor with apes, you
still have to accept the fact that humans arrived in a world that was already pretty
unpleasant. The Bible says that it was through man's sin that death entered the
world, but hasn't death been around since before Trilobites were swimming in the
sea? What did the dinosaurs die from, if man's sin is responsible for death?

The only way to reconcile this paradox is by taking Genesis literally and believing
that around 5000 years ago, all the animals were nice and fluffy and lived in
harmony with each other. The lions and the dinosaurs all ate grass and everything
was wonderful until on the 7th day, Adam and Eve ate some fruit. If you believe this,
in spite of all the evidence from geology, biology and astronomy, you are clearly too
stupid for your own good - please wait in a safe place until the men in white coats
arrive.

As an interesting exercise, have a look at the diagram below showing some events in
Earth's history. Try to "pin the tail on the donkey", and work out exactly when, on
this chart, the world was perfect. Note that this is a rough drawing and not 100% to
scale, but it gives you an idea of the enormous amount of time that has passed since
the world was formed. Would some Christian please explain how it could possibly be
the case that human beings are responsible for the world being full of death,
suffering and disease????? Young-Earth-Creationists, like Flat-Earthers, need not
bother replying.

Blind Following the Blind

Why do you believe what you do?

Why are there lots of Christians in Europe & America? Why are there lots of Muslims
in the Middle East, Hindus in India and Buddhists in Asia? This is pretty obvious, but
rarely given much in the way of consideration. Putting it bluntly, the vast majority of
people across the world blindly follow the beliefs handed down from their parents or
community. I went on a visit to some country a few years back (can't remember
which), and somebody said "Oh, they're all Catholics over there, aren't they?". Isn't
this bizarre when you think seriously about it? How many people across the world
start with a completely unbiased view, carefully weigh up each religion, giving
consideration to the evidence for and against it, then arrive at an informed decision
about which one is correct? Very few in my opinion. Of course, there are people who
convert from one religion to another, or abandon the religion of their parents, but
these are few & far between. What a depressing indictment of human gullibility!

Richard Dawkins puts it brilliantly: "If you have a faith, it is statistically


overwhelmingly likely that it is the same faith as your parents and grandparents had.
No doubt soaring cathedrals, stirring music, moving stories and parables, help a bit.
But by far the most important variable determining your religion is the accident of
birth. The convictions that you so passionately believe would have been a completely
different, and largely contradictory, set of convictions, if only you had happened to
be born in a different place. Epidemiology, not evidence."

I had to fill in a form recently when my 3 year old daughter was about to start pre-
school, and there was a box in which I was to state her religion. How can a 3 year old
child have a religion? Why don't they ask which political party she supports, or
where she stands on the European Single Currency? We don't talk about 3 year old
left-wingers, or 5 year-old anti-abortionists, so how on earth can you have "Christian
children" or "Muslim children"? Ridiculous!

One thing is for sure, if my children receive any indoctrination from me, it will be
about how to think for themselves and not be brainwashed or bullied into believing
something just because somebody tells them they have to believe it.

Hell

The idea of hell is probably one of the main things that turned me against
Christianity. It's quite unfashionable these days in many Christian denominations to
preach about hell, but the evangelical wing of the church is still pretty vocal about
this subject, so it's worth considering some aspects of this dreadful topic.

Various opinions exist about the exact meaning of hell, but for this discussion I will
consider hell to be a state or place where one's consciousness experiences
enormous suffering, either physical (i.e. by being burned in a fire), or mental
(knowing that you have been cut off from Yahweh and everyone you love). I won't
bother pointing out the obvious contradiction between Yahweh who supposedly
loves everyone but allows the majority of his creations to suffer, but I'd like to make
a few other points. If you believe the evangelicals, hell is going to be pretty full up, as
the majority of people are not believing born-again Christians. Presumably, the
handful of people who make it to heaven will be able to look down on those
suffering in hell and observe their torments. If they cannot do this, then they are
being deceived and lied to by Yahweh who is covering up the greatest tragedy ever
to occur to humanity. If they can view those in hell, how on earth can they be happy
knowing that those they loved on earth are suffering dreadful torments? It defies
belief to think that a parent could watch their child suffering and feel indifference, or
feel that they somehow deserve it.

We are told that we condemn ourselves to hell, Yahweh doesn't send us there. By
rejecting his gift of salvation we are responsible for our fate. This is because he loves
us too much to force his will on us, and if we choose to reject him that is our
decision. Nonsense! I have 3 small children, and if I told them not to run across a
busy road but they decide to disobey me, I would drag them kicking and screaming
back to safety - even if they were old enough to weigh up the consequences of
running across a busy road and decide for themselves, I would still use force if
necessary to prevent them harming themselves. Can you imagine a parent allowing
their teenage child to risk being killed because they respected their right to make
conscious choices? If Yahweh really loved everyone enough, he could surely do
something to prevent them suffering for eternity.

Here's another point - if Yahweh only wants to invite Christians to the party, why not
just allow them in, and either destroy the consciousness of those that don't make it,
or even provide some kind of pleasant but secular environment (like Earth!) for them
to live in? Surely if he is all-powerful he could stop my consciousness from
experiencing suffering (even a large dose of alcohol can temporarily do that!), or
destroy me altogether. Only a cruel being would deliberately torture people. More
liberally minded Christians tell us that hell is a state where we are cut off from
Yahweh. A bit like here then! Why doesn't he take all the Christians to heaven and
just leave all the non-believers to their own devices on Earth? I'd settle for that, and
in any case, if heaven is going to be full of evangelical Christians, I'd prefer not to end
up there anyway.

And why does hell need to be forever? Just imagine, if the Bible is right, in gazillions
of years from now, when the last joule of energy in the universe has been expended,
and the stars have all gone out and the universe is dying a slow, freezing death, the
people in hell will barely have started to suffer their torments. If Yahweh is so
forgiving, surely he could let everyone out after a million years or so and at least give
them a second chance. "Ok sinners, you've spent the last million years in hell - do
you want to repent or not?"
Finally, if Yahweh is so determined to help people escape the torment of hell, surely
he could make more of an effort than he appears to have done. Sure, he sent his son
to die for our sins, but couldn't he do just a little more? He allows the facts of
salvation to spread by word of mouth, appearing in a time where there was very
little in the way of literacy and irrational beliefs were widespread. If he really truly
wanted to help, he would appear again to each generation, perform miracles, show
them the glories of heaven and the terrors of hell so that everyone would have a
chance to escape it. He could leave nobody in any doubt as to the reality of hell, only
then could you genuinely say that people chose their own destiny. Making one
appearance thousands of years ago to a group of peasants is hardly the supreme
effort of an all-powerful being.

In summary, a being who creates everlasting torment for those he doesn't like is not
just incredibly unjust, he is far from omnipotent if this is the best he can do.

If you want to see what some of the most fanatical fundamentalists have a say about
hell, take a look at this site - WARNING - this is quite unpleasant so don't read it if
you are liable to get upset reading about hell.

The fear of being tormented in hell for eternity is a horrible thing, as I know from
personal experience, so anything I can do to help anyone else suffering from this can
only be a _good thing_. I thought I'd post this observation I made in case it helps
anyone else out:
Even long after I renounced Christianity, if I ever read anything about hell in the
Bible it would give me a horrible sinking feeling, sweaty palms etc. as the awful
thought that the fundamentalists might just be right after all. I hated this feeling but
there wasn't much I could do about it. However, one day when I was reading a few
passages from the Islamic holy book, the Quran (simply out of interest), I read all
sorts of verses about the Islamic hell, and yet reading these didn't cause me any
anxiety at all, I just dismissed it as primitive nonsense. I wondered why this was, and
tried to imagine myself in the place of a Muslim who had been brought up to fear
the Islamic hell, who happened to be reading the Bible. I realised that this imaginary
Muslim would almost certainly dismiss the Bible descriptions of hell as nonsense in
the same way, yet he would fear the passages about hell in the Quran. This was such
a simple observation, but it really brought home to me that my fear of the Christian
hell wasn't based on fact whatsoever, it was absolutely 100% down to my
conditioning (thanks, parents!), and therefore completely irrational, a bit like my
phobia of rats.
This little exercise in logic has helped me to get over my fear of hell a little bit (not
100% yet), so I hope it might help someone else also.
In case you are interested, here is what the Quran [005:072-73] says about Hell, and
seems to indicate that Christians will end up there!

"Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is the Messiah, son of Mary. The
Messiah himself said, "O Children of Israel, you shall worship GOD; my Lord and your
Lord." Anyone who sets up any idol beside GOD, GOD has forbidden Paradise for him,
and his destiny is Hell. The wicked have no helpers. Pagans indeed are those who say
that GOD is a third of a trinity. There is no god except the one god. Unless they
refrain from saying this, those who disbelieve among them will incur a painful
retribution.

The tactics of fear aren't limited to Christianity and Islam, as shown in this passage
by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita:

"He who in this oneness of love, loves me in whatever he sees, wherever this man
may live, in truth this man lives in me...I am from everlasting the seed of eternal
life...in its delusion the world knows me not...all beings have their rest in me...I am
the way...he who loves me shall not perish...only by love can men see me, and know
me, and come unto me...malignant men hate me...they come not to me, but they go
down the path of hell."

There are even some good reasons to believe that the concept of hell in the Bible
was simply an idea that the Jews adopted from Zoroastrianism after spending time
in the captivity of the Persians, around the time of Daniel. For more information,
read http://www.happierabroad.com/Debunking_Christian_Arguments/Page28.htm

Evolution

I'm not going to add much to the many existing debates between creationists and
evolutionists, but I would like to make the following points:

The evolution of life is a fact. The next time you catch a cold, the reason your body
can't fight it off is because the cold virus has adapted since you last caught it. Life
mutates, evolves and adapts to its environment. Period. If you still don't believe me,
ask anyone who works in the drug companies that are constantly battling against
new and powerful strains of bacteria.

Natural selection, the theory that organisms more suited to their environments are
more likely to reproduce copies of themselves is simple common sense.

Therefore, the only sensible debate is whether Homo sapiens exist as a result of
evolution by natural selection. There is plenty of evidence to believe that this is the
case, for example:
The fact that we share over 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees. We are
genetically closer to chimpanzees than mice are to rats.
The fossil evidence showing a gradual move from the chimpanzee-like
Australopithecus, through Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus (and various others)
to Homo Sapiens, over millions of years. Creationists will tell you that these
were apes, not humans, but in that case why did some of the most recent
hominids have brains almost the same size as ours? They will argue that
those were "real" humans, while other hominids were apes. Come on guys,
you are clutching at straws!
Even if humans didn't evolve by natural selection, the fact that there is plenty
of evidence to suggest that they did means that Yahweh is deliberately
allowing an enormous deception to take place. Did Satan plant the hominid
fossils, and if so why was he allowed to? Is it really fair for Yahweh to blame
someone who believes in evolution, when there is more evidence for this
than creation?
Finally, suppose you accept that Yahweh supposedly used evolution as his
way of creating life. First of all it's a terrible and heartless way to create living
creatures, as it necessarily involves the death of "unfit" organisms which are
either eaten alive or killed off by famine or disease. Also, why on earth would
Yahweh use the one mechanism that makes it appear as if he doesn't exist???

Suppose creation is true and evolution is false?

Ok, let's consider the implications if it were proved one day that Darwinian evolution
was completely wrong, and that the Biblical account of creation is true. It leads to
the following issues:

You have to arrive at the bizarre conclusion that Yahweh loves beetles. Why?
Because there are more than 250,000 different known types of beetle, more
varieties than any other species; in fact, one in 4 of all species is some kind of
beetle.
You also have to accept that Yahweh deliberately designed and created such
horrifying creatures as the killer bee, the black widow spider, the
velociraptor, the great white shark, the AIDS virus and other nightmares of
nature. He gave some creatures spines and claws, and others shields and
amour to protect them from the ones he gave the spines and claws to!
Others he carefully created with an array of poisons and camouflage; What
on earth is he playing at? Darwinian evolution explains all of these
completely; in fact it pretty much requires the existence of such creatures.

I'll finish off with another quote from Richard Dawkins: "The total amount of
suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the
minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being
eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are
slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are
dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty,
this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural
state of starvation and misery is restored."

To demonstrate the power of cumulative random selection I have written a simple


program you can try that demonstrates how complexity can be generated from
simple beginnings by preserving beneficial mutations.

Atrocities in the Bible

The best cure for Christianity is to read the Bible - Mark Twain

The god of the Old Testament has got to be the most unpleasant character in all
fiction - Richard Dawkins

I am convinced that many Christians today do not have a clue about the nature of
the deity they are worshipping. When Christians quote the Bible, they are fond of all
the nice verses about how Yahweh is loving, merciful, forgiving, etc. However, a
careful study of the Old Testament reveals the true nature of the Christian god
Yahweh. Funnily enough, I don't remember hearing sermons on any of these verses
during 20 years of church-going. Let's take a look at some of the nastier stuff...why
on earth doesn't the Bible have an 18 rating like violent movies or video games?

Mass murder...even of babies and animals...

1 Samuel, chapter 15, verse 3: "Go now and put Amalek to the sword, putting to the
curse all they have, without mercy: put to death every man and woman, every child
and baby at the breast, every ox and sheep, camel and ass."

Yahweh orders the destruction of an entire city, including children and even
breastfeeding babies.

Slash pregnant women...


Hosea, chapter 13, verse 16 (chapter 14, verse 1 in some translations): "Samaria will
be made waste, for she has gone against her God: they will be cut down by the
sword, their little children will be broken on the rocks, their women who are with
child will be cut open."

More "pro-life" stuff, breaking up little children & cutting up pregnant women. Even
Adolf Hitler didn't descend to this kind of despicable act.

Dash the children on the rocks...kill men, women and children...

Psalm 137, verse 9:"How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little
ones against the rock."

Ezekiel chapter 9, verse 4-6: "The Lord commands: "... slay old men outright, young
men and maidens, little children and women"

Kill them all; after all, Yahweh commands it. See that little crying baby over there;
slaughter it - that's an order.

Kill everyone except the virgin girls...have these for yourselves...

Numbers, chapter 31, verses 17-18: "So now put every male child to death, and every
woman who has had sex relations with a man. But all the female children who have
had no sex relations with men, you may keep for yourselves."

After slaughtering all the young boys and women following a battle, the victorious
Israelite soldiers get to keep all the young virginal girls for their own enjoyment. I'm
sure Saddam Hussein would have approved.

Pillage...

Deuteronomy chapter 2, verses 33-35: "And the Lord our God gave him into our
hands; and we overcame him and his sons and all his people. At that time we took all
his towns, and gave them over to complete destruction, together with men, women,
and children; we had no mercy on any. Only the cattle we took for ourselves, with the
goods from the towns we had taken."
Deuteronomy chapter 20, verses 13-14: "When the Lord delivers it into your hand,
put to the sword all the males .... As for the women, the children, the livestock and
everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves."

Genocide, destruction and plunder - the Vikings would have been proud.

Kill the kids who laughed at Elisha...

2 Kings, chapter 2, verses 23-24: "Then from there he went up to Beth-el; and on his
way, some little boys came out from the town and made sport of him, crying, Go up,
old no-hair! Go up, old no-hair! And turning back, he saw them, and put a curse on
them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the wood and put
forty-two of the children to death."

Yahweh sends bears to kill 42 little children because they made fun of Elisha's bald
head. "Suffer the little children"...

Rape, infanticide, theft...

Isaiah chapter 13, verse 16: "Their young children will be broken up before their eyes;
their goods will be taken away, and their wives made the property of others."

More mindless slaughter, theft and rape all directed by the "loving" Christian god.
And to think that I actually used to worship this cruel & vicious being!

Injustice...

Exodus chapter 34, verse 7: "...But will send punishment on children for the sins of
their fathers, and on their children's children to the third and fourth generation."

This seems just a little bit unfair to me. I wonder what the European Court of Human
Rights would have to say?

Slavery, de-valuing women...


Exodus chapter 21, verse 7:"If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not
to go free as the male slaves do."
Leviticus chapter 27, verse 6:"And if it be from a month old even unto five years old,
then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy
estimation shall be three shekels of silver."

Not only does the Bible condone slavery, it actually values female slaves as worth
less money than males. Disgraceful.

Sending "evil spirits"...

1 Samuel chapter 16, verse 14 "But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an
evil spirit from the LORD troubled him."

Yahweh sends *evil spirits* after people!

A man of war who creates evil...

Exodus chapter 15, verse 3: "The Lord is a man of war"


Isaiah chapter45, verse 7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and
create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

War and Evil are what Yahweh is all about!

And repents of the evil!

Jonah 3, verse10: "God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto
them."

Oh well, maybe he does have a conscience after all as he repented. To whom


exactly? Himself?

Conclusion
I have to conclude that if Yahweh actually exists, he should probably be arrested and
charged with crimes against humanity.

As an interesting exercise, compare the brutal savagery in the Bible with the EU
human rights legislation at CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN
UNION

How Christians try to justify Yahweh's cruelty...

It is interesting how Christians will try to justify the cruel behavior of their god, e.g.
by saying that the Canaanites deserved to be slaughtered because they were evil
(de-humanizing the enemy is a well-known technique of psychotic dictators).
However, an interesting exercise was conducted by George Tamarin, an Israeli
psychologist - he asked a group of children "Do you think Joshua and the Israelites
acted rightly or not?", and 66% of them said that they did, as Yahweh had promised
the land to the Israelites and ordered the execution of the Canaanites who might
corrupt the Israelites.

However, when he repeated the experiment but replaced Joshua with "General Lin"
and Israel with "a Chinese Kingdom 3000 years ago", only 7% of the children
approved. See http://saltysleveen.blogspot.com/2007/01/joshua-jericho-genocide-
and-fallacy-of.html for the full story.

The Bible is more likely to be the word of a demon...

A closing quote from Thomas Paine: Whenever we read the obscene stories, the
voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting
vindictiveness, with which more than half the [Old Testament] is filled, it would be
more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the Word of God

Nonsense in the Bible

If the Bible was actually written by the infinitely knowledgeable creator of the
universe, you would expect it to be full of profound, indescribable wisdom.
However, as well as containing boring accounts of ancient kings and battles, it
actually contains a great deal of what can only be described as utter nonsense.
Yahweh defeated by "chariots of iron"
Other gods
Clean up your poo in case Yahweh steps in it
Yahweh enjoys a barbeque
Yahweh's cure for leprosy
Yahweh lived in a tent
No rights for the disabled...
Can you prove your ancestry?
Believers can handle snakes and drink venom without being harmed
Lot, an (un)righteous man

Yahweh defeated by "chariots of iron"


Judges 1:19 Yahweh was with Judah; and drove out the inhabitants of the hill
country; for he could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they
had chariots of iron.
So Almighty Yahweh, who creates universes at the blink of an eye, was
defeated by a tribe because they had chariots of iron? Why does *anyone*
take this rubbish seriously?

Other gods
There are other gods besides Yahweh. How do we know this?
Zepheniah 2:11: "The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all
the gods of the earth"

Numbers 33:4 "For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD
had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed
judgments."

Psalm 86:8 "Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord."
You cannot starve or execute judgments against beings that do not exist. The
Bible clearly states that Yahweh took actions against these other gods.

Clean up your poo in case Yahweh steps in it


Deuteronomy Chapter 23:14-15 And thou shalt have a paddle among thy
weapons; and it shall be, when thou sittest down abroad, thou shalt dig
therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee. For
the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to
give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy; that He
see no unseemly thing in thee, and turn away from thee.
Cover up your poo because Yahweh walks around your campsite and might
see it and get offended.

Yahweh enjoys a barbeque


Genesis 8:20-21 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every
clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
And the LORD smelled a sweet savor...
Yahweh likes the smell of a good barbeque as much as the next man!
Seriously, how is this any different from when Alexander the Great sacrificed
a bull to the god Poseidon on his way to Persia?

Yahweh's cure for leprosy


From Leviticus 14:2-52: Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of
the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the
blood-soaked bird fly away. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its
blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with
oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat.
Finally find another pair of birds. Kill one and dip the live bird in the dead
bird's blood. Wipe some blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe.
Sprinkle the house with blood 7 times.
Well, I bet that worked!

Yahweh lived in a tent


2 Samuel 7:4-5: That night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying: "Go
and tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD says: Are you the one to
build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I
brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from
place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the
Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd
my people Israel, "Why have you not built me a house of cedar?" '
Christians often say that their god "resides outside of space and time"
(whatever that means). However, the Bible says that Yahweh was carried
around in a tent and complained, asking his people to build him a house of
wood!

No rights for the disabled...


Leviticus Chapter 21:16-20 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, "Speak
unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that
hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For
whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind
man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a
man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or
that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones
broken."
See that person at the back of the church in a wheelchair? Ask them to leave,
Yahweh doesn't want them in his presence.

Can you prove your ancestry?


Deuteronomy Chapter 23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of
the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the
congregation of the LORD.
Who on earth can prove their ancestry back 10 generations? Probably some
nobles/royalty, but I doubt many other people can.

Believers can handle snakes and drink venom without being harmed
Mark chapter 16:16: They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly
thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall
recover.
Thirty-five Christians died in America between 1936 and 1973 as a result of
handling rattlesnakes. In 1998, John Wayne "Punkin" Brown, the leader of
Rock House Holiness Church in Alabama died from a rattlesnake bite, leaving
his 5 children orphaned as his wife Melinda had also been killed 3 years
earlier handling rattlesnakes. If this kind of idiotic advice had been handed
out in any other kind of textbook the authors would probably be prosecuted.

Lot, an (un)righteous man


Genesis chapter 19:30-38: Lot gets drunk, has sex with both of his daughters
and makes them both pregnant (earlier on he offered them to a gang of
rapists, Genesis 9:8).
2 Peter chapter 2:6-8. Lot is given as an example of a "righteous man".

Fables and Absurdities in the Bible

Things that you're liable,


to read in the Bible,
It ain't necessarily so.

The stories in the Old Testament are totally unbelievable; I am amazed that I was
taught for so many years by people who should have known better that these were
actual historical events. It is so obvious now that these are myths and fables, with no
more historical accuracy than the stories about Atlantis & Lemuria. I can't believe
grown up people still believe in these myths, and worse still teach them to
impressionable young minds. Let's take a look at a few of the more ludicrous stories:
Creation and the Fall
Noah's Ark
There were once giants and "sons of God" on the Earth
Tower of Babel
Joshua and the Sun
Conclusion

Creation and the Fall


Ok, so nobody apart from a few fanatics seriously believes the world was created in
6 days as described in Genesis. But even if you maintain that the 6 days represent 6
ages, there are still ridiculous scientific blunders that stand out. For example:

Plants are made on the third day, without the sun to drive the process of
photosynthesis.
Plants are growing on the land first, then sea life is created afterwards -
according to science it was the other way round - life started in the seas.
Genesis 1:16 says that Yahweh created the Sun and the Moon as "great
lights", and he "also created the stars". Scientists now know that the Sun is a
third-generation star, which means that it is formed from the nuclear waste
of the second-generation stars, which in turn were formed from the nuclear
waste of the first-generation stars.
All creatures are apparently created as herbivores (Genesis 1:30). So what
happened to the dinosaurs?
Yahweh created a red-blooded male (Adam), but didn't realize initially that he
would want a female companion and invites Adam to select a mate from the
animals (Genesis 2:18-20)

There are countless others - the Genesis account doesn't even remotely match what
science tells us about the origins of the earth, however much you try to twist it to fit
the facts.

Noah's Ark
This is basically a reworking of the much older "Epic of Gilgamesh". The idea that
there was a worldwide flood is completely unsupported by any kind of evidence.
After building the ark, Yahweh gave Noah 7 days warning of the flood. There are
somewhere between 8 million and 10 million species inhabiting the earth (not
including the 30 million different types of insect). Since there was a male and a
female of each species on the ark, Noah had just one week to collect polar bears
from the North Pole, lions from Africa, spiders from South America and tigers from
India and the Far East. Even assuming he could travel around the world at the speed
of light, there would have to be an average of 30 animals per second going through
the ark's single door. How did the cone beetle survive the year at sea, bearing in
mind it can only survive on a particular type of tree only found in California?

Another ridiculous idea is that Yahweh created the rainbow as a sign that he would
never again wipe out humanity in a global catastrophe. Are we expected to believe
that light behaved differently a few thousand years ago when passing through
raindrops? Only the incredibly naive can surely believe this!?

The "worldwide flood" somehow seems to have missed out the Chinese and other
civilizations that were around at the same time, since they have no record of it.

Finally, the whole idea was to rid the wicked people from the world. Did it work?

There were once giants and "sons of God" on the Earth


Genesis 6:4 "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when
the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the
same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

FEE FI FO FUM! This story also appears in the apocryphal "Book Of Enoch"
(http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/boe009.htm) where the writer describes
how a race of 450 foot high giants was created when fallen angels came down from
heaven and had sex with human females. Farrell Till has an excellent article on this
ridiculous myth.

The idea that the gods came down and fathered offspring with human females is
found in many cultures, e.g. Hercules was the son of Zeus and Alcmena; Bacchus was
the son of Jupiter and Semele. Does anyone actually believe these things really
happened?

Tower of Babel
Genesis 11:1 "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech."

The Tower of Babel myth is ludicrous - the idea that the entire world spoke a single
language until Yahweh became angry at their attempt to build a skyscraper and
cursed them all with different languages. Where is the evidence for a worldwide
language? All ancient cultures evolved their own languages separately, there was
most likely some kind of cross-pollination as people moved around, but does anyone
really believe that that at one point there was a single worldwide language? Actually,
even the Bible itself contradicts this. Whoever wrote Genesis 11 obviously didn't talk
to whoever wrote Genesis 10 (maybe they couldn't understand each other?), as
Genesis 10:5 says that "By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands;
every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations." This "division of the
gentiles by their languages" happened between Noah's Flood and the Babel episode,
so what is the Bible on about when in the next chapter; it talks about a single
worldwide language?

Joshua and the Sun


Joshua 10:12-14: It was on the day when the Lord gave up the Amorites into the
hands of the children of Israel that Joshua said to the Lord, before the eyes of Israel,
Sun, be at rest over Gibeon; and you, O moon, in the valley of Aijalon. And the sun
was at rest and the moon kept its place till the nation had given punishment to their
attackers. (Is it not recorded in the book of Jashar?) So the sun kept its place in the
middle of the heavens, and was waiting, and did not go down, for the space of a day.
And there was no day like that, before it or after it, when the Lord gave ear to the
voice of a man; for the Lord was fighting for Israel.

Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? Not only does this imply that the Sun
orbits the Earth, but even if it happened as described and the earth stopped moving
to give the appearance of the Sun standing still, the gravitational effects would be
devastating. Funny that there is no record of such an incredible celestial event in the
records of all the other civilizations that were present at the same time. And what on
earth is the "Book of Jashar"? Finally, I was once taught in Sunday School that a
NASA supercomputer had found Joshua's "missing day" whilst compiling a history of
time - this is an urban myth and has been thoroughly debunked, nobody has ever
owned up to running such a program.

Conclusion
Incredibly, I was taught as a child that all of the stories in the Bible were true and
were as historically accurate as the accounts of the Romans or Alexander the Great. I
cannot believe that the people who taught me such outrageous fables didn't have
the common sense to see that this is all absolute nonsense. In my opinion people
who claim that the Bible is inerrant and everything happened as stated should have
their heads examined.
Thomas Paine writing in "The Age of Reason" makes the perfectly good point that
the Bible is full of utterly irrelevant stories that add absolutely nothing of value:
When Samson ran off with the gate-posts of Gaza, if he ever did so, (and whether he
did or not is nothing to us,) or when he visited his Delilah, or caught his foxes, or did
anything else, what has revelation to do with these things? If they were facts, he
could tell them himself; or his secretary, if he kept one, could write them, if they were
worth either telling or writing; and if they were fictions, revelation could not make
them true; and whether true or not, we are neither the better nor the wiser for
knowing them. When we contemplate the immensity of that Being, who directs and
governs the incomprehensible WHOLE, of which the utmost ken of human sight can
discover but a part, we ought to feel shame at calling such paltry stories the word of
God.

Who wrote the Pentateuch?

Some of these points are taken from the 2nd part of "The Age of Reason" from
Thomas Paine. I am simply summarizing some very valid points made by Paine - if
you wish to read more details about these you can view this text online at:
http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/thomas_paine/age_of_reason/index.shtml

Apparently Moses wrote most of the early books in the Old Testament - the
"Pentateuch" is the collective terminology for the five Books of Moses, Genesis,
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. However, Thomas Paine shows that
Moses cannot have been the author of these books, and that they are anonymous
and therefore untrustworthy. Consider this verse in Numbers chapter 12, verse 3:
"Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of
the earth."

This verse is proof that Moses could not have written this book. As Paine notes, If
Moses said this of himself, instead of being the meekest of men, he was one of the
most vain and arrogant...if Moses was not the author, the books are without
authority; and if he was the author, the author is without credit, because to boast of
meekness is the reverse of meekness, and is a lie.

Further evidence that Moses is not the author of the Pentateuch can be seen in
Deuteronomy chapter 34, verses 5-6: And Moses the servant of the LORD died there
in Moab, as the LORD had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth
Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is..

Now, how could Moses write a book describing where he himself died and was
buried? The fact that the anonymous author of Deuteronomy says that "to this day
no one knows where his grave is" tells us that the book must have been written a
very long time after the death of Moses, as nobody would write a statement like that
a few weeks or months after the event!

For the final proof, consider Genesis chapter 14, verse 14: When Abram heard that
his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his
household and went in pursuit as far as Dan.

Now compare this with Judges Chapter 18, verse 29.They named [the city] Dan after
their forefather Dan, who was born to Israel—though the city used to be called
Laish.. This renaming of Laish to Dan took place 20 years after the death of Joshua,
who was the successor of Moses, so Moses could not possibly have authored a
document referring to the city of Dan. The 20 years is derived entirely from the Bible
itself and not from any external source - for more details refer to the 2nd part of The
Age of Reason.

I'll let Thomas Paine wrap up this issue: Take away from Genesis the belief that
Moses was the author, on which only the strange belief that it is the word of God has
stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories,
fables, and traditional or invented absurdities, or of downright lies. The story of Eve
and the serpent, and of Noah and his ark, drops to a level with the Arabian Tales,
without the merit of being entertaining, and the account of men living to eight and
nine hundred years becomes as fabulous as the immortality of the giants of the
Mythology.

Also, the book of Joshua was clearly not written by Joshua:

In Joshua chapter 24 verse 31, it says And Israel served the Lord all the days of
Joshua, and all the days of the elders that over-lived Joshua. - Paine writes: "Now, in
the name of common sense, can it be Joshua that relates what people had done
after he was dead? This account must not only have been written by some historian
that lived after Joshua, but that lived also after the elders that out-lived Joshua."

There are also good reasons to think that some of the New Testament letters were
forgeries. Many scholars believe that the Book of Hebrews (see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorship_of_the_Pauline_epistles#Hebrews was not
written by Paul, due to language differences between Hebrews and other
documents written by Paul. If it was not written by Paul and is a forgery, why is still
considered "God's Word"?

How powerful is Yahweh?

Christians will tell you that Yahweh is all-powerful, all-seeing and all-knowledgeable.
In that case, why can't he do the following?
Wind up the entire system that allows the majority of people who are born to end
up in hell? Every day thousands of people are born and most of them will end up
suffering? Why allow this situation to continue for another single minute?

Reveal himself to everyone on earth in every generation, allowing nobody to doubt


his existence, and allowing everyone to choose whether or not to have a relationship
with him?

Save everyone, including those who don't believe in him? Why the requirement of
people to believe in order to be saved? Is he incapable of saving everyone?

Destroy evil, Satan, hell, wipe the slate clean and start again?

Create an object that is too heavy for him to carry :-)

Even an all-knowing God could never be 100% sure that there wasn't some kind of
higher authority, of which he himself was completely unaware ("super-God").
Logically, an all-knowing God is impossibility.

Why didn't he do the following?

Foresee that the majority of his creations would reject him, and prevent the entire
show in the first place?

Prevent Adam & Eve from having any children, thus discontinuing the line of people
with original sin?

Foresee that wiping out 99% of the world's population in a gigantic flood as a plan to
"rid the world of evil people" was never going to work?

Create beings that had free will but were unable to sin? If this is logically impossible,
it therefore follows that there's no free will in heaven.

Faith

Why do Christians consider "faith" to be a good thing? To be clear about what faith
means, I take it as this: to believe in something despite there being no evidence for
it, or even in spite of evidence against it. This is completely dumb - nowhere else in
life are we expected to have faith. Would you fly with an airline who had faith in
their pilots abilities, but never tested them? If I asked for your life savings and told
you I would invest them wisely and make money for you, would you hand them over
if I asked that you trusted me on faith? Of course not, you'd want proof that I was
trained, competent and certified to invest your money. So why are we expected to
place blind trust in a particular set of beliefs? Why should I choose the Christian faith
over the Islamic faith for example? Ah, says the Christian, there's proof that Jesus did
miracles, rose from the dead, etc. Well in that case, why do I need faith? Either
provide seriously convincing evidence, or demand blind faith, but don't insult my
intelligence with a half-baked approach.

Why is it that Thomas who demanded to see evidence that Jesus had risen from the
dead was reproached, while those who went on faith were praised? Surely he was
sensible to want some kind of proof? Faith is just another word for gullibility in my
opinion. It's worth pointing out that there isn't a single word in the gospels in praise
of intelligence.

Yahweh is completely unreasonable demanding that we have faith, and that we


believe stories that are handed down from person to person over the ages. Thomas
Paine in "The Age of Reason" puts it as follows: "'Revelation' means something
communicated from God to man. No one will deny the power of the Almighty to
make such a communication. But if something has been revealed to a certain person,
and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he
tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases
to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and
hearsay to every other, and consequently they are not obliged to believe it." How can
you argue with that?

Finally, what prompted Yahweh to decided that somebody must have "faith" to be
saved. Why doesn't he save people who do good works, or better still, why not just
save everybody? Jesus’ sacrifice was supposed to be for the whole world, so why do
we have to "believe in him" to get saved?

Why Evangelize?

Why are Christians commanded to preach the gospel and convert people to
Christianity? The standard answer is that people need to hear the gospel so that
they can be saved. So what happens to people who never hear the gospel? Some
Christians will answer that Yahweh will judge them according to their thoughts and
deeds, because he is fair. So why bother to tell them about Jesus then? Other
Christians will tell you that those people go to hell, which is pretty unfair. Either way
you look at it, it's pretty darned ridiculous! Another point - suppose I am supposed
to preach the gospel to some individual or group, but I fail to do my job properly?
For example, I refuse to preach Christianity to my three children. Does this mean
that those people are likely to go to hell because of MY failure? Again, it's
monstrously unfair.
The unfairness of "Original Sin"

In my opinion, the doctrine of original sin is one of the most objectionable aspects of
the Christian faith. The notion that from the moment you are born, you are
immediately sentenced to everlasting torment unless you take some kind of drastic
action has to be one of the most depressing beliefs ever to take hold of the planet. I
will cover the subject of babies and children in another essay, but let's consider the
following scenario. One day at home you are minding your business, when there is a
knock at the door. A policeman appears and informs you that you are under arrest.
When you ask what for, he replies that your great-grandfather murdered somebody
80 years ago, and therefore you are on trial for murder. As you stand there
gobsmacked, he informs you that there is a way out, if you get down on your knees
and grovel to him, you will be released. He tells you that this is "good news", and
you should be extremely grateful to him for giving you this chance to avoid
punishment for your great-grandfather's crime.

Can you see how horribly unfair this is? Whether or not you believe in a literal Adam
and Eve, the idea that billions of people are going to be punished because of what
some human being(s) did thousands of years ago is unfair, immoral and completely
unjust. We are told that we have a "sinful nature", and this is what condemns us to
hell. Well, consider this: it is in the nature of cats to kill mice, so should we prosecute
them for this? It would hardly be fair. We are then told that we choose to sin, and
therefore we *are* responsible. Well, the Bible tells us that "all have sinned", in
other words because some ancient human sinned, there isn't any possibility that
anyone will ever live a sinless life, either now or in the future. The dice is completely
loaded against us, whether we like it or not. (See my article There's no free will in
heaven for some more thoughts on this.)

Is Yahweh fair in saving only those who believe he sent his son to die on the cross for
our sins? Of course, say Christians, everyone has the chance to be saved. So what
about the billions of Indians, Chinese and other races who are brought up in a
different faith? Well, says the Christian, that's why we send missionaries to other
countries. But consider how successful they are - after 2 thousand years, the
majority of people around the world simply believe what their parents tell them, and
as this is the first thing their young minds will be exposed to, most people hold that
faith until they die. Ok, so the missionaries should make more effort, responds the
Christian. So the billions of people who have already died as Muslims, Sikhs, and
Hindus etc. are destined for hell because other people didn't do their job properly? Is
that fair?
Ok, says the Christian, we know Yahweh is fair, so he must make some kind of
allowance so that those people can get to heaven. Perhaps they get the chance to
receive Christ after they die? Well in that case, why bother evangelizing?

There's an old story that goes like this: A Christian missionary has traveled deep into
a jungle to preach the gospel to a tribe that nobody has ever visited before, but is
rumored to exist. He finds the tribe and tells them about Jesus. "But what if you had
never found us?" asks the tribe leader, "Would we be punished for not hearing the
gospel?". The Christian is a bit stuck for words. "No, I mean Yes, I mean No, er, well, I
guess God would be fair" he stammers. "So why tell us?" asks the leader.

You see - the missionary probably caused more people in that tribe to go to hell, as
they had now heard the gospel and presumably some of them would not believe it.
Before this, they would simply have been judged by Yahweh on their good conduct -
either that or they would all have gone to hell because of original sin, which makes
Yahweh incredibly unfair and cruel. So which is it?

If Yahweh was really fair, he would give everyone an equal chance to either accept
him or reject him. Nobody would die prematurely, nobody would be indoctrinated
with false beliefs by their parents, and everyone would have an equal chance for
paradise.

What happens to "unsaved" babies and children?

This article follows on from the ideas discussed in the original sin article, but is
focused on the fate of babies and children who die before they make a commitment
to Christ.

This is a rather awkward issue for Christians, and it leads to some very unfair and
also ridiculous logical paradoxes. Generally if you ask a Christian what happens to
"unsaved" babies you will hear various different opinions (I will use the word
"unsaved" to refer to any human being who dies before they are old enough to
make a Christian commitment, for example a baby or child under 10). Some of these
are discussed below:

They all go to heaven

This is a popular doctrine, as it seems pretty unfair to send them to hell. The idea
that unsaved babies are rescued and sent straight to paradise fits in with our notions
of justice and fairness, i.e. they are innocent so it wouldn't be fair to punish them.
Ok, but this completely contradicts the doctrine of original sin, which states that all
are guilty until rescued by a commitment to Christ. Not only that, but it's pretty
unfair on the rest of us, all those babies & kids getting a guaranteed ticket to
everlasting paradise with no effort on their part. Why couldn't I have been killed as a
baby so I could have avoided the dangers of hell?

They all go to hell

This fits in with the doctrine of original sin, and is monstrously unfair. Consider the
soul of a baby who dies at the age of 1. Before it has even learned to speak or think
coherently, this brand-new consciousness immediately finds itself being tormented
for eternity, despite never having committed any kind of offence against anything or
anyone. I am speechless when I hear this view; it is so unjust it hardly even deserves
serious argument. Thankfully it is quite rare these days.

Baptized babies go to heaven

This is the notion that babies go to heaven as long as they have been baptized or
Christened. How bizarre - that the fate of an eternal soul should depend on whether
someone else performs some kind of ritual. It's hardly fair on the babies who were
born to non-Christian parents. It even leads to the ridiculous conclusion that the best
way to guarantee your child's entry into heaven is to baptize them, then kill them,
sending their souls directly to paradise. If you love your child, why risk them falling
by the wayside in their adult years? Dispatch them now and guarantee their
everlasting happiness! (Please note that this is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, I don't
want people to take this advice seriously!).

We don't know, but Yahweh will be fair

This attitude is fairly common - Yahweh will somehow give them a chance to accept
or reject him after they have died. So why can't he do the same for everyone else?
Why bother sending missionaries to preach to the unsaved, Yahweh could just as
easily offer them the opportunity to accept him when they die.

How to get to heaven

If you ask a Christian what you need to do to get into heaven, you will hear many
different answers, including, but not limited to the ones outlined below:

Believe in Jesus and be baptized (Mark 16.16)


Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God
raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9)
Look after the hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked people and prisoners
(Matthew 25:31-36)
Sell all your possessions and give everything to the poor, then follow Jesus
(Matthew 19:16-24)
By faith as a gift from God, not works (Ephesians 2:8-9)
By works and faith (James 2:14-26)
By calling upon the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13)
Nothing - as long as the head of the household is saved, the whole family will
be saved (Acts 16:31)
Nothing - you can be an unbeliever but will be saved if your spouse is saved (1
Corinthians 7:14)
There's nothing you can do at all, it's all predestined anyway (Romans 9:18-
23)
Join the Catholic Church (Mel Gibson)

Why can't they be more certain? Surely Yahweh should have made it pretty clear
what you need to do to get your ticket to paradise? After all, 1 Corinthians 14:33
says "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace...."

Here’s some interesting issues: once you are saved, are you saved for ever, or can
you "fall away"? Most Christians have different opinions on this, but I wonder about
the following scenario: If you become a Christian, you receive Jesus and the Holy
Spirit, but then later on stop believing in him, presumably your ticket to heaven is
withdrawn. Surely an all-seeing deity would have known in advance that you would
do this, so why bother converting you in the first place? It doesn't make sense to me.

The whole pre-destination thing is ridiculous too - the idea that Yahweh chose
certain people for glory and some for damnation in advance, before the whole world
was created. "Has not the potter the right to make some vessels for glory and some
for destruction?", the Bible asks. Absolutely not, if the vessel is a conscious, suffering
human being! What sort of despicable deity would deliberately create people so he
could torture them?

I have heard the argument that pre-destination simply means that Yahweh could
foresee in advance who would accept him and who wouldn't - but in that case why
bother with the whole Earth project - just send everyone to their final destinations
now!

And another thing...where in the Bible does it say anywhere that you need to "invite
Jesus into your heart". Many of you reading this will recognize the "sinner's prayer",
which goes something like this: "Lord Jesus, I believe that you died for my sins and
rose again. I am truly sorry for all the sins I have committed in my life and repent of
them all. Please forgive me and come into my heart" (or "come into my life"). It
doesn't say this anywhere in the Bible! In any case, shouldn't you feel at least
something when this happens, if Jesus really does "come into your life". I prayed this
prayer a number of times when I was growing up (quite genuinely meaning it), and
nothing particularly changed, I was exactly the same person as I was before and
didn't feel any different at all. Surely if the creator of the universe has transformed
your soul into something new - "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old
things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17) -
you would at least feel a _little_ bit different? The fact that I had to say this prayer a
number of times as I kept on "backsliding" (how I hate that word) shows you that
basically, it's all just in your head...

Why does Yahweh need to be Worshipped?

We are expected to believe that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing,


universe-spanning supreme being who has such a fragile ego that he gets angry if he
isn't worshipped at least once a week. Isn't this ridiculous? What kind of personality
needs to be constantly told how great he is, how mighty and powerful he is? Only an
extremely insecure person or psychotic dictator would need such praise. Enough
said.

Are the Jews the "chosen people"?

The Bible states that the Jews are God's "chosen people". Isn't this just a form of
racism? What have they done to deserve this? Just because one of their ancestors,
Abraham, was a righteous and God-fearing man, why on earth would Yahweh
bestow favors on an entire nation, even leading them victorious in battle against
other nations? If I created a world full of beings all belonging to different tribes, and
chose one of them to be my favorites, what would this say about my personality?
I've even heard people say that Israel is successful because of its favored nation, and
that its people are "blessed". Nothing to do with the fact that they get lots of
support from America, the world's only superpower?

I don't wish to get involved in the endless debate over the Palestine situation as I'm
sure there are good & bad people on both sides, but when I read in the newspapers
about how the Palestinians were uprooted from their homes and turned into
refugees, I cannot believe that the creator of the universe would help his "chosen
people" to achieve this.

Where does it say that the Jews are God's chosen people? In the Bible, right? And
who wrote the Bible? Let me see......the Jews! Funny that!

And another thing...was Jesus sent to the Jews, or everybody?

Matthew 10:5-6 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not
into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go
rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Matthew 15:22-24 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts,
and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my
daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his
disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But
he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

According to Matthew, Jesus specifically said that he was only sent to the "lost sheep
of the house of Israel". It is only when St. Paul arrives on the scene much later that
Christianity is directed at the "Gentiles".

Finally - something you never hear discussed in church but it's something I have
wondered about - do orthodox Jews go to heaven these days? Technically they
shouldn't do, as they rejected Christ as the "Messiah", but it seems a bit weird that
the "chosen people" that Yahweh fought all those battles for have all being dying
and going to hell for the past 2,000 years....

Is Building up ‘Treasure in Heaven’ a Selfish act?

Jesus rebuked the people who publicly gave large donations to charity, and pointed
out that a widow giving a small donation had actually given far more and was more
pleasing to the eyes of Yahweh. He then went on to instruct his disciples to donate
privately, so that only Yahweh would see, and they would "build up treasure for
themselves in heaven". But consider this: if you donate privately to charity hoping to
build up treasure for yourself in heaven, isn't this still a selfish act? All you are doing
is postponing the reward you still want for yourself. Isn't the atheist who donates to
charity expecting no reward either now or in the hereafter committing a much more
selfless and generous act than the believer who is just trying to earn brownie points?
Naturally I'm not saying that all Christians who donate to charity do it for their own
benefit, but can you see the flaw in Jesus’ logic? A truly selfless act is performed
where no reward is expected at all.

How Original is Christianity?

Who is this person described below?

He is the son of God


He was born of a virgin
His birth is celebrated on 25th December
He was visited by shepherds
He was worshipped with frankincense and myrrh
His arrival was marked by a star in the East
He was baptized to mark his embodiment as God
He turned water into wine at a wedding
He surrounded himself with 12 disciples
He brought people back from the dead
He rode on a donkey whilst a crowd waved branches in celebration
He said: "He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he
will be made one with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation"
At his execution, he wore purple robes and a crown on his head
He was crucified between 2 thieves
He was buried and rose again after 3 days
After his resurrection, he ascended bodily into heaven
He will come back to Earth at the end of time to awaken the dead and pass
judgment
According to tradition, his mother didn't die but was taken bodily into heaven

If you think the answer is Jesus Christ, you are only partially correct. Every single one
of the above statements can be applied to one of the many pagan gods that were
worshipped for centuries before Christ, e.g. Horus, Dionysus, Mithras, Attis, Osiris. In
fact, there is hardly any aspect of Christianity that is an original idea.

When various early critics pointed this out to the first Christians, the only reason for
these embarrassing similarities that the Church could come up with was that it must
have been the Devil, trying to pre-empt Christ's life centuries in advance. Have you
ever heard such a ridiculous pitiful excuse! Isn't the far more mundane reason for
these similarities obvious - that the life of Jesus as written in the gospels is entirely
made up from older pagan myths?

So let's answer the questions above:

He is the son of God - Dionysus is the "Son of Zeus, in his full nature God" -
Euripides, The Bacchae
He was born of a virgin - Attis, Adonis, Aion, Dionysus were all born of virgins.
As Justin Martyr writes in the 2nd century:"And when we say also that the
Word, who is the first-born of God, was produced without sexual union.....we
propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you
esteem sons of Jupiter."
His birth is celebrated on 25th December - Mithras
He was visited by shepherds - Mithras
He was worshipped with frankincense and myrhh - Empedocles worshipped
God with "offerings of unmixed myrrh and frankincense".
His arrival was marked by a star in the East - in the Mysteries of Adonis, "the
Star of Salvation has dawned in the East"
He was baptized to mark his embodiment as God - in Egypt; the Pharaoh was
baptized before his embodiment as the god Osiris.
He turned water into wine at a wedding - Dionysus
He surrounded himself with 12 disciples - Mithras, the 12 disciples
represented the 12 signs of the Zodiac
He brought people back from the dead - Empedocles
He rode on a donkey whilst a crowd waved branches in celebration -at
Eleusis, a donkey carried material for the idol of Dionysus, while the crowd
waved branches.
He said: "He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he
will be made one with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation"
- Mithras
At his execution, he wore purple robes and a crown on his head - Dionysus
He was crucified between 2 thieves - Mithras was crucified between 2
"torchbearers", one pointing his torch upwards, one downwards
He was buried and rose again after 3 days - Attis and Dionysus
After his resurrection, he ascended bodily into heaven - Mithras and Dionysus
He will come back to Earth at the end of time to awaken the dead and pass
judgement - Mithras
According to tradition, his mother didn't die but was taken bodily into heaven
- Semele, mother of Dionysus, was raised bodily into heaven.

I find it incredible that this information isn't more widely known. I recommend an
excellent book called "The Jesus Mysteries" which can be found at any good
bookshop. There is also a very good sequel to this called "Jesus and the Goddess"
which completes the picture.

Gnosticism

In the very beginning there were many different branches of Christianity, but these
eventually settled into two main branches, "orthodox" Christianity and "Gnostic"
Christianity. Orthodox Christianity is what we have today, while Gnostic Christianity
was more concerned with interpreting the Bible as being comprised of secret
encoded teachings - the Gnostics believed in reincarnation, plus the idea that
"salvation" is achieved purely by the individual realizing "Gnosis" - that he or she is
one with God and not a separate individual (the ego). Gnosticism was very similar to
Paganism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism with the idea that many lifetimes on the
Earth are required to achieve Gnosis (or "Enlightenment" as the Buddha called it).
Above the Oracle at Delphi in the ancient world was the inscription "Know Your
Self".
History is written by the victors, and Gnostic Christianity came to be seen as a heresy
and was outlawed with most of its writings destroyed by the Catholic Church.
However, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1945 showed that the Gnostic
writings were actually much older than the gospels in the Bible, and that it is likely
that it is Gnostic Christianity that was the original Christianity and "Literal"
Christianity was a corruption that sprouted from this when the encoded teachings
were miss-interpreted. Or possibly because the Roman Empire wanted an
authoritative religion with which they could rule over people, unlike Gnostic
Christianity which did not require priests, churches & rituals. Most Christian ideas
today such as the virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection, last supper, etc are simply
reworking of older pagan ideas - the idea of the dying and resurrecting born-of-a-
virgin god-man is found in many cultures that predate Christianity by centuries. It is
also worth pointing out that before orthodox Christianity the ancient world was
steeped in mathematics, astronomy, engineering, philosophy and learning. When
orthodox Christianity became widespread these were tragically replaced by
ignorance, superstition, fear and rituals, leading to what we now call the "Dark
Ages".

Hints of Gnosticism can still be found in the Bible, presumably overlooked when the
Council of Nicaea took a vote to decide which gospels were the Word of God and
which were heresies (yes, the contents of "God's Word" were decided by a show of
hands!). Take a look at the text below in John's Gospel, Chapter 9, verses 1-3.

"1 And when he went on his way, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples
put a question to him, saying, Master, was it because of this man's sin, or the sin of
his father and mother, that he has been blind from birth? 3 Jesus said in answer, It
was not because of his sin, or because of his father's or mother's; it was so that the
works of God might be seen openly in him."

This question shows that the disciples believed in the pre-existence of the soul, in
the same way that the eastern religions and Gnosticism did. How could the man
have possibly sinned before he was born? Not only that, but Jesus appears to also
accept this since it is clear that he did not "correct" the disciples by saying that the
man didn't exist before he was born - he states that "it was not because of his sin".

When the lost gospels of Gnosticism are understood, the true meaning of
Christianity becomes clearer and a lot of the problems with orthodox Christianity
disappear. For example, take the creation myth and the "fall" of Adam and Eve. The
Gnostics did not understand this to have taken place on Earth, but rather it
represents the descent of the soul into physical matter.
Now let's look at the ideas of crucifixion, resurrection, heaven and hell. The dreadful
orthodox doctrines of everlasting heaven and hell make a lot more sense when they
are seen as secret encoded teachings, as does the crucifixion and resurrection of
Christ (which may or may not have been an actual event, but it doesn't matter). The
crucifixion represents the death of the "ego", or selfish personality. The resurrection
represents the victory of the soul over the small ego (the tomb represents the prison
of the physical body), while heaven is not a place but the state of realizing oneness
with God. Hell is the illusion that you are separate from God and everything else.
Realizing that this is an illusion was what the Gnostics referred to as Gnosis or
Enlightenment.

You can learn more about the original form of Christianity in the excellent books by
Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy (described on the resources page). Another good
resource is the website www.gnosis.org on which the Gnostic texts are published.

What can you believe?

If you ask most people in the West whether they believe in God, they generally
assume this means the Christian god Yahweh, but there is no reason that the creator
of the universe is this particular bronze-age deity. Why couldn't the creator be Zeus,
or Horus, or Osiris, or any of the other tribal gods from humanity's infancy? Does
giving up your faith in Christianity mean that you have to give up all belief in a God,
all hope for some kind of existence after death? Many people in the West think that
the only alternative is complete atheism, the notion that we are just some kind of
animals trying to pass on our genes before we die and disappear into oblivion.

I disagree with this view. It is still possible to believe in God and an afterlife, the trick
is not to try to assign too many properties to them. For example, I am quite happy to
accept the idea of a God who created the universe, put in place the laws of physics
and let evolution run its course. Thomas Paine believed in a Creator God but was
sure that this wasn't the god described in the Bible. He writes: "When we
contemplate the immensity of that Being, ... we ought to feel shame at calling such
paltry stories the word of God."

And regarding an afterlife, a God who can design universes is perfectly capable of
moving my consciousness to another environment; it doesn't have to mean oblivion.
Even if there isn't an afterlife, this doesn't mean we need to be depressed. After all,
we don't get depressed because there wasn't a before-life do we? Suppose that 10
years after you die, it will be exactly the same as 10 years before you were born?
That wasn't too bad, was it?

Coming out as a non-Christian


For those of us who were brought up in evangelical Christian households, admitting
to your parents that you reject the beliefs they brought you up with feels a bit like
telling your local police officer that you are a child-abuser. One of the hardest things
I ever did was to tell my parents I no longer believed that Jesus rose from the dead.
I'll never forget the look on my father's face, or my mum breaking into tears. I felt
like a complete worm, they had invested all that time taking me to church, making
sure that I got into heaven, and now I had thrown it all back in their faces. I tried to
keep up pretense at first, which was easy when I was living with them, as I just
carried on going to church each week which was just a habit. When I moved away
and failed to start attending a new church, I eventually had to come clean. Trying to
keep up a fraud for the rest of my life was too much of a burden, so one day I came
clean. It was just as I had expected. Two weeks later, my father told me that they
were praying desperately for me. It wasn't any easier knowing that I was the only
non-Christian in a family of Christian grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and
brothers. At family gatherings I felt like the black sheep of the family, and just got
left out of conversations about God & church. At least they stopped asking me to say
grace at mealtimes.

I sincerely hope that I outlive my parents, as I would hate to die first knowing that
they would spend the rest of their lives convinced I was burning in hell. I feel a bit
guilty putting them through this, but I have to do it, I can't live a lie just to please
them.

Finally, I told them eventually that I didn't hold any grudges against them for
preaching Christianity at me when I was young - I realize they were only trying to
save my soul, and they had been brought up as Christians by their parents, so were
just passing on beliefs that had been indoctrinated into me. I am fascinated by
Richard Dawkins notion of "memes" ideas that leap from mind to mind, replicating
like biological viruses. Dawkins actually considers religion to be a virus of the mind,
and I'm inclined to agree with him. In my case though, the virus has been removed
and will not replicate any further from me.

So, should you "come out" as a non-Christian? It's the only way that you can have
any respect for yourself, what kind of person lives a lie all their lives to cover up their
beliefs? I understand how hard it is, but it's like a job interview, it's an unpleasant
experience, but once it's finished you are glad to be over it.

Resources

This page contains recommended web sites and books to read.

www.jesusneverexisted.com Lots of good articles here


www.theskepticalreview.com Website of Farrell Till (ex-missionary and preacher)

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/ Excellent site providing a skeptical analysis


of the Bible. Many good topics including search engine.

http://www.exchristian.org/ Excellent site with testimonies from ex-Christians

www.jcnot4me.com/ Set Free From Jesus - Mark Smith's excellent and funny site

http://www.jhuger.com/kisshank.php/ Kissing Hank's ass - very funny

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~slocks/decon.html Steve Locks site - lots of good


stuff on here

Recommended Reading

Below is a list of books that I recommend. You can obtain most of these from one of
the internet bookshops.

By Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy


The Jesus Mysteries - This book exposes the pagan origins of Christianity, and is quite
simply stunning. Once you have read this you will never look at the Bible in the same
way again.
Jesus and the Goddess - This sequel to The Jesus Mysteries explains in more detail
the philosophy behind the pagan and Gnostic beliefs that the original Christian
teachings are derived from.

By Luigi Cascioli
The Fable of Christ - This book shows that the Jesus character supposedly described
in the gospels is a made-up character based on a terrorist. It explains the errors that
the gospel writers made when making up their fictional character, and the evidence
is hard to dispute.

By Charles Templeton
Farewell to God - Charles Templeton was one of Billy Graham's assistants during his
missions. He explains how he gradually realized that the Bible was full of nonsense
and eventually abandoned his beliefs.

By Richard Dawkins
The Blind Watchmaker - It's probably best not to make comments about evolution
until you have read this book, as you probably have many misconceptions that need
clearing up. This will remove those misconceptions
The Selfish Gene - You will never think about "sin" in the same way again after
reading this
The God Delusion - Debunking the whole idea of a supreme being

By Christopher Hitchens
God is not great - Religion poisons everything