The New Theist Challenge

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The New Theist Challenge

One thing you hear over and over again is that regardless of whether the events of The Bible literallly happened, The Bible is a still a good guidebook to morality. In fact, I believe it's always said to be "the best guidebook to morality." Let's test this assertion, shall we?

The Bible says it's wrong to kill. - Okay, I think you and I will both agree that this is generally true. I'm fairly certain many other texts before and after The Bible included this rule too, but let's move on. Wait--does this mean just other humans or animals too? Cause I eat meat all the time and my body kills millions of bacteria and other microbes a day, which i have no control over. Eh, let's forget about that. We'll just say The Bible's true enough and move on.

The Bible says if a man lies with another man as he would with a woman, that's an abomination. Well, a lot of people have a problem with homosexuality. But I guess that's not what The Bible is referring to. It sounds to me like The Bible here is only referring to spooning...unless sodomy is viewed by the writers of the bible as the way in which a man typically lies with a woman. So does that mean homosexuality is okay? I'm confused, but let's just move on anyway and agree that The Bible is right for now.

Okay, stay with me now. We're almost home free.

Deuteronomy 21:20-21 says, "And they shall say unto the elders of his city: 'This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he doth not hearken to our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.' And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die; so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee; and all Israel shall hear, and fear." - WHOA!!!! Wait a second! The Bible's suggesting it's okay to stone a kid to death for misbehaving? No, wait, it's not a suggestion. The Bible isn't just saying it's okay to do it; The Bible demands it as a form of terrorism! I don't know about this one. That doesn't sound just or fair to me. It sounds sadistic and cruel. I don't know about this one. Let's just move on.

Exodus 21:7-8 says, "And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her." - What the hell? Is The Bible sayig it's okay to sell your daughter into slavery? That doesn't sound moral to me. Does that sound moral to you?

Exodus 35:2 says, "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death." What? The Bible is demanding that anyone who works on the Sabbath be put to death? That's worthy of death? But I need toput my kids through college! This isn't fair! This isn't just! This is the opposite of just. Whoever came up with these rules for morality is a sick, sadistic, tyrant!

Corinthians 11:14 says, "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?" Even Jesus? Even The Beatles? What would God care if I had long hair. Hair length has nothing to do with morality. And you call this moral?? Wait, no, you call this the best guide to morality on the planet Earth? You think it's your moral duty to stone your misbehaving children, to sell your daughter, to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath, and to view long-haired men as an abomination?

I thought The Bible was supposed to be moral. I thought The Bible was supposed to be the greatest guide of morality. This isn't morality. This is justifying senseless violence.

Do you still think The Bible is the best guide to morality?

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Most theists simply respond

Most theists simply respond to those verses with a "Those laws don't apply to us now!"

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I like to respond with

I like to respond with "Jesus came to fulfill the law."

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No, no, you're taking it all

No, no, you're taking it all out of context. The bible is a symbolic but accurate historical record of parables as interpreted by multiple authors that belongs to a place and time but is still the relevant and infallable word of the big bearded one.

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noor wrote: Most theists

noor wrote:
Most theists simply respond to those verses with a "Those laws don't apply to us now!"

Which just backs up our claims that morality doesn't come from the bible, but rather from society.  There's so many things taught in the bible which in todays society are seen as immorral and horrible things, yet they're right along side other verses that theists like to quote until our ears bleed.

The only society whose morals come from their scripture are the fundamentalists in the middle east.  For every other society morals are modelled on society.  At the very most, those who model their morals on their religion use religions that model their morals on society ... in other words they just have a middle-man. 

Organised religion is the ultimate form of blasphemy.
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AModestProposal Did you


Did you watch Penn and Teller's Bullshit: Bible Fact or Fiction right before you wrote this post? Not that I don't agree with your argument, just is extremely similar to "Bullshit: Bible Fact or Fiction".

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."--Stephen F. Roberts

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i have no real answers. i

i have no real answers. i will try to respond the best way i know how in a positive way.

Deuteronomy 21:20-21. Deuteronomy was laws for a new civilation. not that i agree with "fear" tactics, how many kids do you think would be a glutton and drunkard if they where stonded? verse number 22 says "and if a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death..." may be suggesting that some sins would be worthy of death but does not elabrate on what they would be. Proverbs 23:20-22 also says something simlar but more along the lines that he would be cast out and he would not get his inhairence. it may mean killing the son or it could be a "symbolic" of the son dying and not entitled to his father's property. as far as we know, it is up to the elders to actually stone him, but whose to say that chose not to and just cast him out? it sounds like a law to protect the son from the father not wanting to pay him just because he did not like his mother.

Exodus 21:7-8... if i am not mistaken i think "slavery" might have meant marriage. ( ** EDIT IN: some cases. one would have to pay their wife's father. ** ) from reading verses 1-7 it sounds like slavery was also basically a "job". it does not say how the slaves where treaded and the word may get misunderstood to our definition as slavery. if the books teaches love and compassion it might also mean to treat slaves with love... if one did not then they would be judged. also most slavery that was mentioned was for a certain time which is why i suggested it to be more like a job.

Exodus 35:2. again this could be a fear tactic or a way to give the workers a day off. people thought differently then and upheld the laws, the ones that did not payed the price. it wouldn't take but one or two to get publicly stoned to get the point across. i am not saying that i agree with it, but our understanding of a legal system was kind of new then and was probably based on similar laws of the time. people where not afraid of being tied up in court all day and getting a slap on the hand, but of death. this might have been an important fact in shaping our humanity.

Corinthians 11:14. in this verse the word long is not actually described. if they wore their hair shoulder length then that probably wasn't considered long to them. this isn't necessary saying what is wrong or right but stating that women should have longer hair and it was an "embarrassment" for a man to.

i am not saying these laws would be proper for todays time, but back then, that is just the way it was. they still had freedom to dream and accomplish their goals, it just took them longer to do it. it forced people to be humble so to speak.


EDIT: changed "it" to "if'.  edited the edit in; i said "if i am not mistaken" twice and sounded kind of redundent.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.

Jacob Cordingley
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The best guide to morality

The best guide to morality is JS Mill's On Liberty without a doubt.

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Morality in the Bible?

I think we need to add a thread to this conversation.  We rightly argue what 'morality' if any can be gleaned from the bloody pages of the bible.  But I think we need to remember the position of the minor debate within the larger one.. the source, value, and validity of the writing itself.  We have to remember that any theist who is CHristian is supposed to believe that this is THE inspired word of their god. 

If that is the case, why would any of this be in need of translation?  A god as defined by these people should be perfectly able to make their 'mind' clear.

 A poster has suggested that the morality found in the bible, taken on a human level, is one that was 'accepted back then, but looked down upon in our age'.   That is an argument against the claim of morality as described in those pages then, yes?  So we've come to the conclusion that the bible does not have any value even 'just as a good morall compass'?

"The hardest thing in life to do is to see things as they are, not as you want them to be."

"I do not despise believers. I find then neither rediculous nor pathetic, but I lose all hope when I see that they prefer the comforting fairy tales of children to the cruel hard facts of adults. Better the faith that brings peace of mind than the rationality that brings worry - even at the price of perpetual mental infantilism."
~Michel Onfray in Atheist Manifesto

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It's the classic stolen

It's the classic stolen concept dilemma.

If there's a logical reason for morality, then we don't need a mandate from God.  We could figure it out on our own.

If there's no logical reason, then we can't call it morality.  It's just arbitrary rules.


Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin
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No, I don't think the bible

No, I don't think the bible is a guide to morality let alone a best one in any sense and I haven't done since my first time full read of it, that's just some made up peripheral dogma. If you want proof that it is just ask anyone who says "the bible is a practical guide to morality" to quote precisely where the bible states unambiguously "This book is authored with the intent to serve as a practical guide to morality"... it's not possible. 

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