Friday, July 21, 2006

Self-Contradictions (Cont.)

After posting the first part of the Theological Doctrines section, I noticed it seemed a bit bare. So, in the spirit of bettering my work, I'll be adding commentary explaining the circumstances behind each of the biblical passages to all of my 'Self-Contradiction Posts,' as well as compiling them into an article for easier viewing. This is soon to come, as is the majority of my work, so be sure to check back. For now, I'll leave you to your own devices for finding the contradictions, I assure you it isn't difficult. Now, let's finish the Part I of the 4 Part series; Self-Contradictions of the Bible.

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
16->God's anger is fierce and endures long; "For I have kindled a fire in mine anger which shall burn forever." Jer. 17:4 (E)
16->God's anger is slow and endures but for a moment; "His anger endureth but for a moment." Psalms 30:5 (P)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
17->God commands, approves of and delights in burnt offerings, sacrifices, and holy days; "And the priest shall burn it all on the altar to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord." Lev. 1:9 (P)
17->God disapproves of, and has no pleasure in burnt offerings, sacrifices, and holy days; "For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices." Jer. 7:22, "Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me." Jer. 6:20 (E)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
18->God accepts human sacrifice; "The King [David] took the two sons of Rizpah,... and the five sons of Michal;...and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord....And after that God was entreated for the land." 2 Samuel 21: 8, 9, 14 (E)
18->God forbids human sacrifice; "Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them [the Gentile nations];... for every abomination to the Lord which he hateth have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters have they burnt in the fire to their gods." Deut. 12: 30, 31 (P)

[Example/Principle/Principle Contradiction]
19->God Tempts Men; "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham." Genesis 22:1, "Lead us not into temptation." Matt 6:13 (E)(P)
19->God Tempts no Man; "Let no may say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." James 1:13 (P)

[Principle Contradiction]
20->God Cannot Lie; "It is impossible for God to lie." Hebrews 6:18 (P)
20->God lies by Proxy; He sends forth lying spirits to deceive; "And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet." Ezek 14:9 (P)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
21->Because of man's wickedness God destroys him; "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually....And the Lord said I will destroy man whom I have created." Genesis 6: 5, 7 (E)
21->Because of Man's wickedness God will NOT destroy him; "And the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I smite any more every living thing." Genesis 8:21 (P)

[Principle Contradiction]
22-> God's attributes are revealed in his works; "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead." Romans 1:20 (P)
22->God's attributes cannot be discovered; "There is no searching his understanding." Isaiah 40:28 (P)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
23->There is but one God; "The Lord our God is one Lord." Deut. 6:4 (P)
23->There is a plurality of Gods; "And God said let US make man in OUR image." Genesis 1:26 (E)

Thanks for reading. I'm really enjoying my revisit to this book, hopefully I'll get around to posting the final draft of the Theological Doctrines section, be sure to check back. Also, Demanding Reason (DR) will be widely expanding our potential by moving to a .com name within the next month or so. In addition to that, more sections are to come as well, so let us know if you're interested in contributing articles or columns on a particular relevant subject,
Til next time,

-Arjuous

The God Movie

Brian Flemming's documentary on the existence, or lack thereof, of Jesus Christ and the inconsistencies of the bible is a must see for religious fence-sitters. It has commentary from historian/philosopher Richard Carrier, author of Sense and Goodness without God, a philosophical discourse on naturalism and secular humanism, as well as the 'Bible Geek' and personal favorite Prof. Robert M. Price. Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins also find their way onto the DVD. The argument put forth is a great one and offers no real room to go for Christians. I would highly recommend this to anyone, but especially life-long Christians, as I formerly was, as it poses questions of faith that MUST be answered by a cognitive mind. Check it out.

-Arjuous

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Self-Contradictions of the Bible

Given my last entry's notation of William Henry Burr's book, I feel a bit inspired to share some of the contradictions mentioned in the book. Initially I was skeptical, although I attribute that to a childlike response in wanting my former beliefs to be true, but after reading only a few pages, I realized how blatent the contradictions are. This post will deal with the Theological Doctrines of the Bible, and the self-contradictions that arise from their study. Other chapters will come, but I've yet to compile a complete and coherent summary of them.

This first section contains 23 alleged contradictions, this post will cover the first 15. What I've found in dealing with the biblical text is that many things either deal with a metaphysical principle, which will be labeled P below, or an example of divine metaphysical action relating to a principle, which will be labeled E. I'll also will include the most pertinent passage of the many that are usually cited.

[Emotional God]
1-> God is Satisfied with his works; "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good." Genesis 1:31 (E)
1-> God is Dissatisfied with his works; "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." Genesis 6:6 (E)

When taking the Bible at face value, God comes off as tempermental and vague. In this instance, he is additionally inconsistent. I doubt that the creator of the universe could or would be so captivated by human affairs that he, a being assumed to be intensely rational, would abandon consistency and rationality to punish those of his creations that don't adhere to unnecessary provisions of his metaphysical maxims. I doubt that our God, if he exists, is one who reacts violently to human affairs.


[Principle/Example Contradiction]
2->God Dwells in chosen temples; "...For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever; and mine eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually." 2 Chron. 7:16 (E)
2->God does not dwell in temples; "Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands." Acts 7:48 (P)

The same argument exists for all of these contradictions. If the bible is inspired and written by the creator of the universe, it must be infallible. If it is infallible, it would not contain ANY contradictions, it would be perfect. Conversely, if a contradiction does exist, it would disprove the theory that God wrote the bible. Also, going on the assumption that the bible is infallible, that also means the bible is consistent. Any principle must be able to be rationally layed over the rest of the text, and match up with examples given in the bible of the enaction of those metaphysical principles. This is categorically not the case, nor should it be expected. The fact that so many contradictions exist is overwhelming evidence against Biblical theism, and positive and additional proof of the Bible as nothing more than 1st century allegorical literature.

[Principle Contradiction]
3->God Dwells in Light; "Dwelling in light which no man can approach unto." 1 Timothy 6:16 (P)
3->God Dwells in Darkness; "The Lord said he would dwell in thick darkness." 1 Kings 8:12 (P)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
4-> God is seen and heard; "And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." Exodus 33:11 (E)
4-> God is invisible and cannot be heard; "No man hath seen God at any time./Ye hath neither heard his voice, at any time, nor seen his shape." John 1:18/John 5:37 (P) - Biblical 'fact'

The two passages in John produce a doubly infallible rule that no man has ever seen nor could ever see God, yet in the Old Testament we see exactly this. The only way for the bible to remain infallible reasonably is to disregard the New Testament, if indeed we are going off of a reasonable assumption of the definition of 'infallible,' being without flaw, i.e. without contradiction. I say this because the contradicting passage, in this case, comes from a seperate document of religious faith, and because the Jewish and the Christian God obviously differ. But no matter the circumstance, in this instance, with God being infallible and also the author of a holy book, such a holy book MUST be infallible as well; it could not be otherwise. In this instance we see a common occurrence, where the Old Testaments premises are not met perfectly by the New Testament allegories written to fulfill them. Apologists come up with various reasons for these inconsistencies, but most of these are drawn from nothing more than thin air. Thankfully for them, they rarely have to address these issues with their clergy.

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
5-> God is tired and rests; "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed." Exodus 31:17 (E)
5-> God is never tired and never rests; "Hast though not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?" Isaiah 40:28 (P)

The story being told in Isaiah 41:1-20 is that of God interceding in human events, metaphysically asserting that God intercedes in all or some human events.

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
6->God is everywhere present, sees and knows all things; "The eyes of the Lord are in every place." Proverbs 15:3, "Which shall I flee from thy presence?..." Psalms 139: 7-10 (P)
6->God is not everywhere present, neither sees nor knows all things; "And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord, amongst the trees of the garden." Genesis 3:8 (E)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
7->God knows the Hearts of Men; "Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men." Acts 1:24 (P)
7->God tries men to Find Out what is in their hearts; "For now I know that thou fearest God, seeing that thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me." Genesis 22:12 (E)

The Genesis passage implies the necessity for God to test the hearts of men.

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
8->God is all-powerful; "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for me?" Jer. 32:27 (P)
8->God is not all-powerful; "And the Lord was with Judah, and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron." Judges 1:19 (E)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
9->God is unchangeable; "With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17, "For I am the Lord; I change not." Mal. 3:6 (P)
9->God is changeable; "And it came to pass afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came unto him, saying Turn again and tell Hezekiah, the captain of my people, thus saith the Lord,.... I have heard thy prayer,... and I will add unto thy days, fifteen years." 2 Kings 20: 1,4,5,6 (E)

[Principle/Principle Contradiction]
10->God is just and impartial; "The Lord is upright,... and there is no unrighteousness in him." Psalms 92:15, "A God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he." Deut. 32:4 (P)
10->God is unjust and partial; "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." Genesis 9:25, "For I , The Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation." Exodus 20:5, "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not from him shall be taken away even that he hath." Mat 13:12 (P)

[Principle/Principle Contradiction]
11->God is the author of evil; "Thus saith the Lord, Behold I frame evil against you and devise a device against you." Jer. 18:11, "I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things." Isaiah 45:7 (P)
11->God is not the author of evil; "For God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." James 1:13 (P)

[Principle/Principle Contradiction]
12->God gives freely to those who ask; "For every one that asketh receiveth and he that seeketh findeth." Luke 11:10 (P)
12->God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving them; "O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways and hardened our heart?" Isaiah 63:17 (P)

[Principle/Principle Contradiction]
13->God is to be found by those who seek him; "Those that seek me early shall find me." Proverbs 8:17
13->God is not to be found by those who seek him; "Then shall they call upon me but I will not answer; they shall seek me early but shall not find me." Proverbs 1:28

[Principle/Principle Contradiction]
14->God is warlike; "The Lord is a man of war." Exodus 15:3 (P)
14->God is peaceful; "The God of Peace." Romans 15:33, "God is not the author of confusion but of peace." 1 Cor. 14:33 (P)

[Principle/Example Contradiction]
15->God is cruel, unmerciful, destructive, and ferocious; "I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy." Jer. 13:14 (E)
15->God is kind, merciful, and good; "For his mercy endureth forever." 1 Chron. 16:34 (P)

The remaining 8 will be listed next time, in the meantime, I'd love to hear and address any thoughts or criticisms.
-Arjuous

Naturalism vs. Theism

I've been reading Richard Carrier's work recently on Naturalism, which got me searching for a debate of his that I've found for your metaphysical palates delight. I warn you, its quite a read, and seems to require a few English classes to understand, but a cup of coffee should allow you to follow the arguments well.
The article can be found at, http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/carrier-wanchick/index.html, or by clicking the title of this update (Natualism vs. Theism, above). Thank you to infidels.org for hosting the article.

The statement based debate is between published historian and philosopher Richard Carrier and Christian writer/apologist Tom Wanchick. While I am frequently and swiftly nauseated by the propositions of most apologists, who become so pious about such an irrational attribute as 'faith,' Wanchick makes good points for his side. The arguments credit is somewhat hurt by its Christian conclusions, but the metaphysical premises are entirely rational and, I find, very intriguing. I would recommend for Mr. Wanchick a book I purchased a while ago by William Henry Burr, which effectively concluded my Christian years, albeit with some help from Sam Harris. The book, compiled in 1859, is entitled "Self-Contradictions of the Bible," and was very useful to me in realizing the irrationality of the premise that God wrote a book, especially the Bible.

There are 144 self-contradictions in the bible, according to William Henry Burr, and after further study, most of these are indeed perfect self-contradictions. That is, one cannot be true without the other being false. And of course if one is false, then all of it is, because the entire premise of the bible is of it being 'inspired, inerrent, and infallible word of God.' I still remember that from the top of my church bulletin. The book covers 4 theaters of debate, Theological Doctrines, Moral Precepts, Historical Facts, and Speculative Doctrines. Here are a few from the opening chapter on Theological Doctrines. (taken without permission from William Henry Burr's book, don't sue me)...


God is Seen and Heard - "And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend. Exodus 33:11"
God is invisible and cannot be heard - "No man hath seen God at any time. John 1:18"
or
God Tempts No man - "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. James 1:13"
God Tempts Men - "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham. Genesis 22:1"
or
God Cannot Lie - "It is impossible for God to lie. Hebrews 6:18"
God Lies by Proxy - "And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet. Ezekiel 14:9"


In theory, the existence of 1 self-contradiction in a document allegedly produced by an infallible omnipotent being would be sufficient evidence for its nonexistence. With the existence of around 140 self-contradictions, this conclusion can almost be rationally certain. I ask you, what rational reason do we have to make such a fantastic claim about our existence, that a long, long time ago the creator of the universe wrote a book?

-Arjuous

Merits of Market Anarchism...

I've recently read, or rather, had dictated to me via a podcast, an article by Stefan Molyneux on Market Anarchism. There is certainly a fine line that the state must walk in order to rightly embody the constitution that has established it. Molyneux shows some startling figures of state violence and raises some intriguing ideas about the merits of a completely anarchist society. In response to violence being a necessary capacity of government, Molyneux says "...But either violence is right or it is wrong. If it is right, how can we quibble about the degree of violence used by the state. If it is wrong, how can we even approve of a small state."

The article you can find at http://www.lewrockwell.com/molyneux/molyneux23.html, or by clicking today's entry title above.

I have yet to find the perfect world view, yet in the context of the American Republic, I admire what it is, especially considering what it is amongst. I realize much of its potential has been unrealized, but I, perhaps clinging to nationalism, still believe reason can allow us to reach that potential. It is that tinge of realism that keeps the inevitable injustices of the state palatable. The state is a broad sword, which cannot cut like a knife, so we must accept that unintended force will be applied to unintended targets, and that some of those, even if only a few, will be completely benign.

For now, in this half of the century, I believe the state to be a necessary entity, and one with great potential. Of course, I realize how wrong I could be, as well as the dangers of acting on such a vague identification between a Madison-ian state and divine potential. Doing so will always bring you to accept an idea as concrete and true in your rationale, which walls you off from rational conversation, as you no longer have the capacity to examine the basis of your argument.

This is much of the difficulty in dealing with groups established around one idea, religion in particular. While the majority of the individual actions of various superstitious groups are not irrational, they are entirely based on an irrational idea; the vagueness of which leads to their irrational behavior.

I apologize for my rant, I'll be posting some of my articles on religion shortly, but for now, read Molyneux's work. For those of you attempting to form some sort of opinion on government, he poses some questions that deserve examination, it'd be great to hear what you think.

-Arjuous

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