I feel a sudden humanitarian impulse to go deprogram this poor woman!
i) I can actually prove that the christian god is neither goodness nor light using that precious, accurate and infallible book the bible (although I use some circuitous logic) nonetheless, it’s in the bible, ergo it MUST be true, right?
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis, 1. 1
Okay, so God is not light. Gotcha. That’s pretty straight up. Also, presumably if god was surprised enough by the light to comment on the ‘goodness’ of it, then clearly good was a new thing as well! Now I’m not saying god is evil and darkness, but he certainly is not ‘goodness and light’ otherwise both goodness and light would have existed independently without needing to be ‘created.’
Another fun fact on genesis and creation is that ‘God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them’ (Genesis 1:27). Man is jealous, man is lustful, man is fickle, man is flawed, man is hateful, hurtful, unfaithful, violent, murderous, vengeful, unreasonably demanding, irrational, prone to say one thing and do another, confused, confusing and imperfect. Sounds like god got his image exactly right for god himself is all those things, just look at the commandment on idolatry wherein god confesses to being a jealous god and pretty freaking vindictive to boot! (…for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, Exodus 20:5)
ii) Alright, so that’s my opening deprogramming. Next I checked out this poor dame’s site and actually subjected myself to her picking and choosing the sections of the bible that support the theme of her latest theory and picked out a choice few to refute, using (of course) the inarguable truth and validity of verses from the bible (oh, let us bow before the wisdom of the holy book). I reference Dr. Shirley’s site page here and in response to her claim that god doesn’t want sex to be dirty, I cite and explain this verse.
If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. Leviticus 20:13
Okay, forgetting that the bible itself contradicts this verse by stating that ‘thou shalt not kill’ on the one hand and demanding people be put to death for this and a multitude of other petty violations of ‘holy law,’ let’s deconstruct this verse and what it means. Now how exactly can one have sex with a man the exact same way one has sex with a woman? The oral is totally different… cunnilingus verses fellatio, penile vaginal is, of course, right out of the picture since neither of two men has a vag, therefore, the only sexual act that actually remains the same whether between male & female or male & male is sodomy. Let’s place the act within the verse and see what god wants:
If a man sodomizes a man as one sodomizes a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.
Wait a second here, as one sodomizes a woman? Really? That’s what a man should be doing with his woman?!? Well, I guess I’d better let my man have anal with me, after all, it’s what god wants. But wait, doesn’t god bitch about sodomy later on in the bible? I’m so confused why must the ‘honest’ and ‘consistent in theme and messages’ holy book refute everything it tells me to do?!?
iii) Here’s a couple bible verses that refute just about every moral stipulation and lifestyle judgment Dr. Shirley makes on her website:
Matthew 7:1: Judge not, lest you be judged
James 4:12: There is one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you that you judge your neighbor?
Romans 14:1-23 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike…
You see? According to the bible itself only god can judge and pass judgment on others. Anyone who condemns a person for their lifestyle choices or actions is committing the deadly sin of pride as well as basically putting themselves in the role of God (surely a horrible sin and egotistical too)! I can’t help but notice that Dr. Shirley passes a lot of judgments… guess she’s going to hell!
iii) Finally, returning to the topic of inconsistencies within the bible, I dispute the entire portion of the book wherein Jesus states you can get to heaven just by ‘believing and repenting.’ Subsequent verses of the bible clearly out Jesus as a ‘deceiver’ for making this outrageous claim:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 9-10
The almighty apostle Paul himself said this, and this verse is supported by 1 Corinthians 15:50 and by Ephesians 5:5 (For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.)
So despite Jesus’ claims of forgiveness and acceptance into the kingdom of heaven, if you’ve done any of the aforementioned things, you’re screwed! Of course the bible predicted that Jesus would come and deceive god’s people way back in Deuteronomy 11:16 where god warned the Israelites to “take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them ” and as we can see, people have turned away from their blood sacrifices and tithing to the levite priests and old testament ways to follow Jesus as a god. Hey, there’s one point for Dr. Shirley Cheng, the old testament predicted the false claims of Jesus. Now if only it was factual, honest and all those other wonderful things she claimed it was. Sadly it is merely a book; a book which has been rewritten a multitude of times in a multitude of formats, translated and re-translated and amended until it can be used to support any stance, no matter how morally and ethically repugnant with relevant bible verses. It was written by men, evil men at that, during a time when it was necessary to force a transition from forum, elders and senate into centralized dictatorship under one ruler or king from whom all orders and directives flow, to whom we give our earnings as tithes.
This book has been used to support countless atrocities from stoning women on suspicion of adultery, committing mass genocide in order to reclaim the holy land (which white christians from the isles of Briton never owned in the first place), templars sacking each others temples, all the way to committing cultural rape in the modern day and age by sending missionaries to the most downtrodden and helpless people they can find in foreign countries offering desperately needed food, medical treatment and clean water with one fatal catch: you must abandon all of your traditional culture and worship that which we worship, in the language we use, or else… NO HELP FOR YOU! I’ve eaten at government funded soup kitchens where the staff force you to pray before you are served your food and withhold your meal if you dare object to taking part in the service. The message is clear, convert or we won’t help you. This to me is rape. If someone desperately needs something you can easily provide and you force them to perform an unnatural and unwanted act to obtain it, how is that any different from getting a single mom to suck your cock for grocery money?
Anyways, sorry about that, I got off on a rant. I’m going to stop myself now or I’ll be at this all night. Keep up the good work, Bob, I hope some of your rational common sense makes it through to these poor brainwashed saps.
P.S. As per request I have randomly enclosed a picture (above) although I'd like to state for the record that I do not transfer intellectual or proprietary rights to my image and will not allow it to be edited, transferred, used for third party advertising purposes, used for any commercial licensing purposes, sold, transferred, or otherwise utilized by anyone without my expressed permission. In other words, if I pick up next months issue of barely legal and find myself photoshopped and used in an ad, I'm hunting down and mutilating all persons responsible!
I will consent to use of this image of me by your website (normalbobsmith.com).
Wow, this is a long postscript... I think I should stop now.
|“I stumbled upon your site, and am interested in hearing your story...”
|I stumbled upon your site, and am interested in hearing your story. I read that you were once a Christian. What made you change your heart toward Jesus, causing you to turn from serving him to being against him? While your disrespect toward Jesus is wrong, I'm not into the hate mail stuff. You may find hate mail funny, but I don't. Hatred never accomplishes anything positive; those who hate others are living
in their own blindness, just as the Bible says: "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them." (1 John 2:9-11, NIV)
Anyway, I just thought I'd drop you a quick note. What changed your heart?
Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Dr. Shirley Cheng
Award-Winning Author with 27 Book Awards
Proclaimer of Jehovah's Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ
Don't make God frown; make Him smile! :D
Author/Contributor/Editor of 32 Books by Age 27, Poet, Motivational
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What changed my mind and heart was the fact that it didn't make sense. It went against everything my logical thought told me, and any believer I spoke to sounded like they were on the verge of insanity when they'd explain their beliefs. From the outside looking in it's even more evident how god & Jesus are just a couple more mythological characters that match up right alongside all the others we're familiar with. The simple fact that each body of land on the globe has a different god they believe in is a giant twirling police siren in the face of logic. You really have to shield your eyes from everything around to maintain beliefs such as yours. That's precisely what I saw in believers. A self induced ignorance encouraged by the belief itself. I want nothing like that out of life. Nothing like that at all.
See, I just want to make sense and be normal. If someone comes at me with beliefs that sound crazy without any evidence to back it up I've got no interest in worshipping its god. I want to be sane, sound sane and have sane reasons for what I believe. I try to live my life by those rules as much as I possibly can, as I think should everybody else if they want sanity. There's so many people with crazy ideas who're more than ready to muddy a brain with their backwards ideas. And if all those people have to back up their ideas is "faith" then they really should just be keeping it to themselves, because every belief you can possibly imagine has faith in its corner supporting it. That's not saying much at all.
Know what I mean?
|“Again, I usually don't believe in something that isn't accurate, factual, or based on strong evidences.”
Thank you for getting back to me. I appreciate it. Of course, I understand exactly what you mean. Many believe in something when they don't actually know why they believe in that. This is often why rumors spread so quickly. People believe what they hear without supporting evidences or facts, and then irresponsibly, they spread whatever they hear on to others. This kind of spread does a lot more harm than good--and rumors are usually nasty to begin with. That's why before I really believe in something, I'll at least question it. However, I was guilty of believing some things without knowing the facts. I used to believe in the notion that we have an immortal soul in each of us that goes on living after we die; but after I examined the facts, I no longer believe in it. I also believed in a burning hell, but no longer because it's not factual.
On the other hand, faith can also play a very important role in our lives. For example, we have faith in our chairs on which we sit--we trust that they will support our weight because its proven through time that they have been trustworthy. If your friend tells you that he's sick and won't be able to meet you for lunch, I suppose you would believe him, that he's really sick (but if he's notorious for lying, then that'll be a different story). And I have faith that your e mail to me is truthful because, well, I want to be able to trust those who write to me. At the very least, I have a certain degree of trust in those who I meet online: I have faith that what they share with me is truthful, but my reasoning kicks in and tells me that I can't trust everyone I meet online with my life because the fact is that not every person in this world is entirely trustworthy--facts have time and again proven it. So we are dependent on faith in our daily life more than we realize it. Faith and reason are therefore compatible, and should be two harmonious working elements in our lives.
Well, this is my story: While I believe in God, I choose to believe in the correct God, not some god that is made up by human imagination. Otherwise, if we believe in a manmade god, we might as well believe in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, or the tooth fairy! Again, I usually don't believe in something that isn't accurate, factual, or based on strong evidences. What purpose could my belief possibly serve me if it's incorrect? Merely blind Self-gratification, perhaps? Way back when, people believed that the Earth was flat because it looked/felt flat to them. Their "faith" that the Earth was flat was just that--"faith" based on their perceptions. However, when we now have undeniable evidences (i.e., images) that our planet is a huge ball, it would be absurd to continue to believe that the Earth is flat, or square, or rectangular, etc. So my belief in God is also based on solid facts--in other words, it's not blind faith. Just as the images of our Earth prove that it's round, the Bible proves to us the existence of one single true God. Why the Bible? Isn't the Bible like any other book written by man? Well, I have a blog post that answers this question, and tells you why belief in the Bible is not blind faith. Feel free to read it: http://blog.shirleycheng.com/2010/11/01/inspiration-from-a-blind-wheres-truth.aspx
Thank you again for writing back. I'm interested in sharing with you more thoughts/experiences. If you have any question, please ask. I'm always into meeting new people online who can have intelligent conversations.
Thank you. Talk again soon.
Dr. Shirley Cheng
Haha, well no. This is another perfect example of looking at what people believe and it seeming completely illogical and screwy to me, to the point where I'm shocked a grown adult, a doctor no less, thinks it makes perfect sense to compare faith in a chair to believing in Jesus and all the crazy stories he's attached to. It makes me shake my head bedazzled.
Faith isn't the word I'd use at all in regards to why I believe a chair I sit on will hold me. There's strong evidence that proves a chair's support ability, and many have come before me and sat down successfully on chairs. It is not a fantastic claim by any means. So I'd use the word trust. There's evidence to support the claim, so it's trust. Plus it's not that outrageous of a claim, so not much evidence is needed to prove the chair-sitting-theory. For instance, let's say I told you I couldn't meet you for lunch because I was sick. That's not an insane claim so not much faith is required to believe me. However, what if I told you I couldn't meet you for lunch because I got sick from space aliens and I was inside of their spaceship on my way to Jupiter? That is a far more outrageous claim, and believing that on faith alone would be crazy! Get what I'm saying?
The more extraordinary a claim the more extraordinary the evidence necessary to believe it. And without extraordinary evidence my sick-with-space-aleins story shouldn't be taken seriously by any sane, responsible adult. So that's how you should be thinking those things through before you make any major decisions. It's how you should decipher whether or not there's a god in the first place. It's how I decided.
Once you have that extraordinary evidence that's when you can start claiming truth in extraordinary claims. Until then however, your faith is nothing more than ungrounded belief. No different than saying to me "Yes, I believe you're in a spaceship with the martian flu on your way to Jupiter. How about a late dinner?"
I'm sure you can at least see where I'm coming from and why I don't believe any of it.
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!
|“In my last e-mail, the main point I made was that it's important to believe in something with supporting evidences/facts.”
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I know what you're saying. One definition that dictionary.com gives for "faith" is: "confidence or trust in a person or thing," so it's not incorrect to use the word "faith" to describe our trust in chairs. While our faith in chairs is mostly a faith (trust) based on evidences because chairs have a generally good track record, there is a bit of faith (belief without proof) involved, depending on which chairs we're referring to. If I were to sit on a chair that I had never sat on, and it's a chair that has tape all over it to keep it together, then that kind of faith would kick in. If you come to think of it, we exercise faith (belief without proof) in a lot of things we do because life is not a 100% guarantee. We cannot guarantee what will happen every second or minute of our lives. While we trust a lot of things by strong evidences and track records, we can't see into the future; anything that involves the future requires unsupported belief to a certain extent. For example, people travel on planes because planes are proven to be generally safe. Knowing that they're generally safe is the reason why people trust planes. But note that planes are "generally" safe, not "always" safe. When something isn't "always" safe, then some unsupported belief is involved. People have faith (both kinds of faith) that they will have a safe flight.
In my last e-mail, the main point I made was that it's important to believe in something with supporting evidences/facts. However, we can exercise a healthy dose of faith (belief without supporting proof), depending on our circumstances, and that require personal judgment. For example, we can't always ask our friends for evidences for everything they tell us--we instead give them a certain degree of trust. Of course, if their claims are outrageous, then we'd better have evidences to support our beliefs first. So like you said, "The more extraordinary a claim the more extraordinary the evidence necessary to believe it."
You concluded, "It's how you should decipher whether or not there's a god in the first place. It's how I decided." It's how I decided, too, Bob--that there's a God. How exactly did you decide? I'm interested in hearing.
Talk soon. Thanks.
Dr. Shirley Cheng
I think you hit the nail on the head. Chairs generally have a good track record, so putting your trust or "faith" in one isn't a fantastic feat, or unsound, or something only crazy people do. A taped together chair, with cracks, broken legs and a bad paint job takes a bit more faith. No legs at all, or a seat, or back and only a direction booklet telling you it's there? Well, I suppose you could sit on the booklet! Hahaha
Shirley, you have to admit faith in gods has a horribly jagged track record to put it mildly. I mean, think of all the gods we've invented out of thin air who've heartlessly betrayed our trust by refusing to exist in the first place! Vishnu, Ra, all of the Norse gods, a few of the Greek & Roman ones I think. In fact all the gods I can think of right now have either turned out to've never existed in the first place, or they've died in 4th dimension battles somehow against their Satan counterparts. Their dependability in the exist department earns them a grade well below passing.
And your god specifically, he has an awful track record. How do you begin to count the number of people who's faith he's betrayed? Hell, as far as I know I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't exist in any dimension at all! Haha, I'd hate to put you on the spot, but I think you'd better get that "extraordinary evidence" you got ready for me. Your taped-up-chair analogy is making your god vanish right before my eyes! What do you have? Videos of him in heaven? A magic show, but it's not magic? A talking dog reciting scripture? I'm anxious to see your extraordinary evidence. This could be life changing for me.
So in answer to your last question, I suppose I'm deciding as we speak! I mean, I concluded he didn't exist based on the complete lack of any evidence anyone had. I'm completely open to believing if you have extraordinary evidence to back it up. But I can't tell you what a setback it'd be if you turned out to be just another promiser with nothing to back it up. Jeesh. That'd be devastating, I can't even tell you. Gosh I hope you don't turn out to be just another Award-Winning Author/Contributor/Editor trying to sell books.
ANYHOW, I don't know why I'm wasting any more time yammering. Let me have it. I'm sooooo ready!
Thanks in advance for all you're about to reveal to me.
|“Would you find a book trustworthy if it has ALL of the following attributes?”
Faith in gods has a non-existent track record because they simply do not exist--no one has been able to prove the existence of any "gods."
Would you find a book trustworthy if it has ALL of the following attributes?
1) Historically and geographically accurate
2) Supported by archeology and historians
4) Scientifically sound--stating scientific facts before scientists proved them, and doesn't contradict scientific facts
5) Every prophecy has been fulfilled literally so far--prophecies that were foretold hundreds of years before the events actually took place
6) Written by many eye witnesses
7) Consistent in theme and messages despite having many writers who lived in different time periods and cultures and spoke different languages
8) Contains universal and timeless wisdom applicable to all
Yes, I would! What book is this that you speak!?!?!?!
I'm sure you know what book I'm referring to... Right?
Are you unable to say the title with a straight face after all that build up?
Because I'd like you to say it, Bob.
Origin of the Species.
Am I close?
|“If something is not accurate how could it be true?”
No. The book, which has all the eight features I listed and which you said you would trust, is the Bible. Now, let's highlight the accuracy aspect of the Bible:
1) It is accurate
If something is not accurate, how could it be true? If a book you read tells you that the United States of America currently has forty states, wouldn't you raise an eyebrow? A book has to be accurate in as much information it gives out as possible. The more accurate it is, the more trustworthy it is.
The Bible fulfills this accuracy requirement in every detail. Even though parts of the book were written over three thousand years ago, archeology has time and again proved its validity. The descriptions of the way of life of ancient days are proved true by what archeologists have found so far, even down to the smallest details!
Science also proves the authenticity and accuracy of the Bible. Did you know that thousands of years before scientists proved it, the Bible states that the Earth is round and that it hangs in space?
And get this: not only is the Bible accurate regarding the past, but is also accurate about the future! Hundreds of prophecies in the Bible have already come true in every detail--prophecies that were written hundreds and thousands of years before the foretold events actually took place! Take, for example, the eternal destruction of Babylon. What was once the world power lies in ruins to this date, exactly as the Bible foretold. It was something unimaginable when the prophecy was given, because it is like saying that the crowded New York City or Shanghai will be totally uninhabited forever in a month from now. Among other prophecies in the Bible are the prediction of the successions of world kingdoms: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome--in that order. Only a handful of prophecies are yet to be fulfilled, and can you blame me for eagerly anticipating their fulfillment?
If anything is unclear, let me know.
Uh oh! Somebody whose name starts with an "S" and ends in a "Y haven't you checked your facts?" hasn't read her Bible! Haha! I'm looking in your direction, Shirley! Yeah, I'd hate to tell you this, but the bible is off on every one of those counts you listed. It's why I couldn't say the word when you wanted me to. And most of these are easily disproved just by reading straight from scripture. I know you're blushing, but just you wait...
1) "Historically and geographically accurate."
Historically the Bible's been proved wrong on many occasions. Dinosaurs existed despite the bible saying people were invented within the same week earth was made. It is a historical falsehood that all the languages of man began at the Tower Of Babel, and rainbows have been proven to've existed before the Flood, I think.
As for geographically, the Spiderman comics take place in New York City and they're geographically accurate too. That doesn't make Spiderman real, or true in any way. So no, that doesn't count.
2) "Supported by archeology and historians."
Nope. Not the case. Ask any archeologist/historian and they'll not vouch for the Noah's Ark story, 900 year old people, the existence of giants, all the different languages originating at the Tower Of Babel, or dinosaurs either not existing or existing alongside humans. Fact is, a majority of archeologists and historians do not vouch for the bible's accuracy. I mean, how do you account for dinosaurs in relation to the bible, Shirley? Is that not a gaping flaw to account for?
I believe I've addressed this already above. Unfortunately one of the things the bible has working against it is it's just a book, and all religions have books with a great many claims. It being written proves absolutely nothing, thus taking it all on faith is the requirement of all religions. And this is in no way providing the extraordinary evidence you agreed was required. In fact, all of this "evidence" is really quite unextraordinary. I mean, "Honest?" How is that evidence? I'm doing that head shaking thing I told you about earlier.
4) "Scientifically sound--stating scientific facts before scientists proved them, and doesn't contradict scientific facts."
Wow. I would like three examples of this. Sound scientific facts by the bible before science proved them? This should be easily referenced. Did god give us the circumference of the earth? Or the ingredients for penicillin? Let me have it. All I ask is 3.
5) "Every prophecy has been fulfilled literally so far--prophecies that were foretold hundreds of years before the events actually took place."
Again, please give me a direct quote from the bible that's come to be since. Something that would have been impossible to know then, but it came true today. My expectations are set very very high for the god of the universe. It should blow me away.
6) "Written by many eye witnesses."
Incorrect! None of the bible was written during Jesus' life, nor by Jesus himself. And most believers know that the Bible was written 100s of years after Jesus' death. Some might say as little as 30, but that's the best you can do. And there is no evidence to show that Matthew, Mark, Luke & John (the only claimed eye-witnesses) were written by those men. And I'm sorry to say that even if they were all eye witness accounts, I'd still suspect human error before I leaped to the suspension of natural law, miracles & such. If a guy came to me right now and said "I saw a guy rise from the dead!" or "I saw a baby born of a virgin!" I would highly suspect he was mistaken, lying or crazy. And all you're giving me is the book that says so? This all just isn't having the impact on me I'm sure you were hoping it would, Shirley.
7) "Consistent in theme and messages despite having many writers who lived in different time periods and cultures and spoke different languages."
Absolutely not. There are two different creation stories in the bible, two different accounts of Jesus' last moments on the cross. There are accounts in the bible of Noah's animals coming two by two, and another account that it was in groups of seven (5 males, 2 females). There are many discrepancies between books in the bible and those books can be easily shown in scripture if you'd like references.
8) "Contains universal and timeless wisdom applicable to all." Except slaves.
I'm sorry Shirley, but I've already been through all of this before and it's led me to where I am now. It's precisely why I said in my initial emails that crazy claims require extraordinary evidence! Short of that they're only extraordinary claims worth as much as a claim of space travel with space martians and catching space-flu. It's just tall tales written in a book. There are many many other examples of this in books all over the world.
Please consider it all being pretend, Shirley. The world will seem a lot more normal and sane when you do.
It's so nice to be hearing from such an influential, highly regarded life-coach as yourself!
Be of good cheer either way.
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