Monthly Archives: May 2013

Monopoly vs. The Bible

While browsing the stories on the Yahoo news page one caught my attention. Click Here to read. Basically, it says there are a few rules that players have changed and/or forgotten about over the years and some people don’t even know they’re doing it wrong. This instantly clicked into my head as the same way most people have gone about learning about the Bible. My favorite sentence in the article,

“Perhaps because so many people learn the game from their parents, siblings and friends,

no one has bothered to read the actual rules for a while.”

Doesn’t that just ring true for the Bible and Christianity, and all religions at that.

We’ve almost all taken the knowledge of the Bible from our parents/friends and few have read the “rule book” for themselves. I actually have started to study the Bible so I can say I am one of those few, it really does change your perception of the religion and the stories if you read it yourself. Its easy to see that some or most of the stories in the Bible could possibly have gotten changed centuries ago over the years of verbal communication especially if the rules of a game were changed in today’s world. In addition, we haven’t got anything to gain by tweaking the rules to the game but back then if they could have their “Messiah” be better than the other messiahs they would have exaggerated some of the stories. Don’t even get me started on the changes that have been made to the Book of Mormon.

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Do You Believe in Magic?

Do You Believe in Magic?.

via Do You Believe in Magic?.

The Results are in!

So, Sariah did not get in to Kindergarten as an early admission.

With these results comes a great deal of confrontation between my wife and I. She feels that Sariah is more than ready with the knowledge of colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. I agree on this point but my main contention is her maturity level. I can not understand why my wife does not see this the same way as I do, she claims that just last year (if the birthday deadline had not been adjusted) Sariah would be going in to Kindergarten with no fights. Yes, maybe last year but the deadline has been changed and for good reason.

The admission deadline was no doubt moved so that children would be able to mature just a bit more before compulsory attendance takes over their lives. My wife, being a teacher, should agree with this point whole-heartedly. She has had many kids in her classes that are just not ready to be in the grade they were in, but thanks to “No-Child-Left-Behind” no one can fail a grade and must just keep going, getting farther behind, and bringing down the class. I firmly hold that this is the reason that they moved the deadline and I think that a little more maturity and home learning will not hurt anyone.

Contradictions of Biblical Proportions

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Prompted by the list of biblical contradictions on The Thinking Atheist, I want to start a series of posts to confront the issue of contradictions in the bible. I have seen many verses posted by hard core atheists (and by unlearned/uninformed ones) that claim the bible is wrought with conflicts and contradictions. In looking at some of these they do not actually seem to be contradictions at all. I plan to go through some of the supposed contradictions and work it out. I do not believe that all of the reported ones are actually contradictions, but are preyed upon by militant atheists. I urge everyone to read the verses around the contradictory ones, put it in context. Anything can be take from the middle of a conversation or sentence and be made to be contradictory, especially in our world of half-truths. Another big part of determining if something should be considered a contradiction is the version of the text you are reading.

I will be as middle-of-the-road as I can be because I really just want truth out there, not the utter destruction of religion. If you attack a religion its people will harden and not listen to anything but being fair to both sides I hope to bring us together to agree on some and (of course) disagree on others.

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Answer the Fool or Not?

Proverbs 26:4-5

“4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.”

 

This is hard to read. Are we to answer the fool, or not? This is the best example of reading the surrounding verses to put the questionable section in context in order to determine if it is correct to consider this a contradiction. My verdict….NOT A CONTRADICTION, just a poorly worded couple of sentences, but we are in proverbs so they are hard to read even on a good day.

In examining this verse, it states to not be like the fool who questions you. Don’t stoop to their level, but to answer them in kind. I can think of a great example of this but it turns the tables 180 degrees. A christian thinks to stop an atheist they need only ask the atheist where the original matter from the big bang came (this is not a hard question for most atheists, I’ll just let you know). The atheist can rant and rave about it being eternal and having always been there in one form or another (answering the fool according to his folly – verse 4), OR they can simply ask where god came from (answer the fool as his folly deserves – verse 5).

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Where did Aaron die? Mt. Hor vs. Moserah

Numbers 33:38 – Aaron died on Mt. Hor

Deuteronomy 10:6 – Aaron died in Moserah

 

This discrepancy will be much harder to iron out. Mt. Hor and Moserah are biblical locations that are not widely agreed on in current geography. Many sympathist would say that Moserah is a region and Mt. Hor was located within that area. The authors of the stories (and the verbal story tellers before that) chose to record the location of his death in different ways.

Much like if I was to talk to someone from Tennessee I would say I am from Clarksville, but if I was talking to someone in Europe I would say I was from Middle Tennessee. I actually had this happen to me when I was on vacation in 2008 atop a mountain in Switzerland. Some people came up to our group and asked us where we were from, we responded the US, they said “yes, what part?” “Tennessee” “We have family in Tennessee, where are you from?” “The Nashville area.”

Likely a contradiction but unable to conclusively say on this one.

 

I hope this is informative to everyone. I want to make sure that everyone follows the same logic when looking at claims of fellow atheists as when we reject the claims of theists. Don’t just believe it because they say it (or me even), look for yourself. I have provided the links for you to be able to see the context of all the verses. I may be wrong too, let me know if you think i am.

Removal of Aversions

As a part of my apostasy I am removing some of my aversions that I had before, the first is to drinking alcohol. I am not going on a drinking spree, I am going to familiarize myself with the different categories of drinks and the specific brands. I know some of these will take a couple of tries to make them palatable, I’ve already started and I can confirm some of these are horrible.

So far I have tried a few beers, a few whiskeys, and some vodka. I am sure I will mislabel some of these, let me know so I can fix it. I have gone to the liquor store and not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars, I bought a couple of the mini drinks. I am sure that this is what these were made for because who would want to spend $50 on a jar of drink that you might not like? Good idea companies!

I will try to put my thoughts to pen but I am having a hard time wording my thoughts to make sense to anyone else, so I’m sorry if you can’t understand my writings. I did not drink all of these on the same night (Usually just one/two a night, and I didn’t drink more than a sip of some of them)…I want to go about this as scientifically as I can and I thought the tastes and types would not mix well with each other. I am going to score each drink that I try using a 5 point scale:

1 – Something I’d never try again.

2 – I might try it again if someone vouched for the drink.

3 – So/So.

4 – Pretty good, but I will probably just stick to the minis

5 – I like this very much. Would potentially drink this often.

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Beer

Rolling Rock

Blah. Not good for me. I couldn’t finish it. I tried this one b/c it was a light ale and I thought the taste would be milder, it was but it wasn’t good. 2/5

Blue Moon-Belgian White

My favorite so far, but I don’t think I’d drink it often. I am just not a fan of the “beer” flavor. 4/5

Blue Moon-Agave Nectar Ale

Pretty good, pretty much the “beer” flavor that I had in my mind. I couldn’t detect the Agave Nectar addition I use this in my tea and I know it is a subtle taste on its own and can easily be overpowered. 3/5

Smirnoff Ice-Green Apple

Pretty good, not much to say really. This is a true starter drink. Not much alcohol, nice taste with the green apple (look forward to the other flavors). 5/5

Whiskey

Crown Royal

My mouth is numb. Wow, I’ve never had anything like this…I’ve never thought about something being like that. I can perfectly understand now why people shake their heads in movies/tv when they take a drink of whiskey. Pretty good and it soothed my sore throat, keep this one in the medicine cabinet i think. 3/5

Jameson

Whats up with the Irish and green bottles? Whew, strong. Good job Irish. Def. too strong for a newbie like myself. I’ll keep the little bottle around and retry it in the future. 2/5

Jack Daniels

I actually didn’t know what to expect when I bought this one. I’ve grown up in TN and heard about Jack all my life, never tried it. My grandfather even has a good story about someone in his family selling the recipe for Ole’ Number 7. I might go for the big bottle on this one. 5/5

Vodka

Smirnoff-Green Apple

Wow, not at all like the other Smirnoff I had. This one is hard to drink, apparently it is completely different than the beer-like one I had earlier. A lot, A LOT, more alcohol and green apple taste in this one. 2/5

Hpnotiq

This one is pretty good, not very harsh, nice fruit flavor apparently mixed with Congac (will try that soon). 4/5

Kindergarten Assessment

So today is Sariah’s assessment for kindergarten. I have so many thoughts going through my head about what is going to happen. The letter from CMCSS was totally lacking in information, turns out this assessment could take up to two hours! This seems excessive to me. We aren’t the only ones here either. I think they have a couple of kids here at one time so that they can feed off of one another and relax quicker. No parents allowed and Sariah almost threw a fit about that but she went with the other kids, so proud.

I will edit when I learn more….

*EDIT

So, Sariah came out with the two other kids….no one cried! yay! I thought we might have been the crier but she didn’t, so proud. Anyways, in the car on the way back to work I ask her about what they talked about, turns out they didn’t talk about anything, they just played with blocks. So I ask her specifically about parts I knew to be in the assessment; colors, shapes, numbers, letters, writing, name recognition, etc…..

nope none of them, she said they didn’t talk about any of these things. My only thought, these ladies are good. The teachers that were assessing them did so with them not even knowing that they were answering questions. Or at least I hope thats what they did. We don’t get results for 5-10 days in the form of a letter.

I am split, I know she knows letters and numbers but she just isn’t socialized very much. She is an only child who has grown up with adult family around, not too many friends to play with everyday. Thank goodness for our library group or she’d have even less. Thank you Heather, Angela, and Dannie for letting this dad into your group with Sariah. I’ll definitely update when we get our letter informing us of the school board’s decision.

Did Jesus actually exist?

http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

 

I just finished reading this and….wow! I have never heard many of the points in this post. I will be looking into many of them to make sure they are accurate because there is so much information to take in. When I was growing up I was never told that the gospels weren’t actually written at the time of the story they were telling nor by the people in the stories. I have heard of the Shroud of Turin before but never thought hard on it or investigated it. This post claims there were many studies done on it and all claim it as a forgery, seemed to good to be true for me anyways. In high school I found out that the bible was put together and some books were not allowed to be added or were edited to be in the bible. The fact that a group of men decided what stories from that time were good enough to be believed and the ones that told other stories (or different accounts of the same stories) were not allowed amazed and confused me. The dead sea scrolls I thought, would be added to the accounts of the bible, not into the actual bible but believed to be canon at least, but they weren’t. 

      I am personally still on the fence about whether the person Jesus existed. I do not believe he was the literal son of god or had divine power, but I am unsure, yet, if a person whose story was blown out of proportion actually was there at the turn of the century. Of course after reading something like this and seeing this video I am leaning on the side that he didn’t exist and the stories were verbal stories that were passed around and exaggerated or changed (either by accident or on purpose) and then written down, much like a game of telephone we all played in elementary school. Actually talking about telephone, I had an interesting discussion with my wife that I found amusing but she was unaware. She talked about her class (second grade) watching videos and discussing tall tales, like Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed. I liked how she told her students that these people obviously didn’t exist exactly the way the story said because it was a verbal story that had been passed down, changed, and exaggerated before being written down and that no one actually thought they were true because of the exaggerated facts. This amused me as this is exactly how I imagined the story of Jesus back in the 1st century up until the gospels were actually written down. It was kind of ironic that she can teach her kids to think critically about these stories but refuses to do so herself for biblical tales

 

 

Don’t forget to check out Mattisthebomb.com

Prayer at Relay for Life

I had the opportunity last night to participate in a Relay for Life. I took advantage of this opportunity to make my point of view known to anyone who asked me if I believed in god or prayed for anyone with cancer. I really wanted to take the microphone and just put it out there…

“How many people in this room have prayed for their loved one to be cured of cancer? I don’t just mean everyday praying, I mean true, wholeheartedly praying for the remission and cure of this horrible disease. (I imagined many hands going up and mass agreeing) Look around, there are about 1000 people in here, many more elsewhere who couldn’t make it tonight. I bet all of us at some point have looked to god with our deepest wishes to have a cure found and our loved ones freed. This is my evidence, and it should be yours as well, against god. He allows this travesty to befall his people. I have been freed, I know this is a disease and I know that I need to give what I can to fund research for the cure. Prayer has no power, research does.”

 

Of course, I couldn’t say any of this to the group as a whole but I did let my feelings be known to two people who asked me to pray for a cure. I hope that someday I will be able to have a booth at an event and just let my position be known. I have been in the beginning phases of starting a group for freethinkers in the Clarksville area.

 

 

One last little story from work…

I was chatting with one of the ladies that I work with on Friday, I had my back to the door, I cracked it open and the storm was blowing in so her calendar fell off the door. As I picked it up:

M: read that Bible verse to me

Me: nah I don’t read that stuff

M: Aren’t you mormon

Me: I was, but I gave it up

M: So, what do you believe now?

Me: Not what you do

M: Well, maybe one day you’ll come to your senses

Me: Well, maybe someday you will to M

 

I have never seen someone get offended at being told the exact same thing they just said to someone else. I am new to the life of the atheist and this is but the first of many encounters I am sure to have with the double-standard, contradictory folk that I live and work around.

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