It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. ~ Thomas Jefferson


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Monday, April 18, 2011

Science & Critical Thinking Published in Sunday Times 17th April 2011

Understanding the Rationalizations of the ‘Believers’
Quotation: Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
Isaac Asimov
There are passages in the Bible indicating that God condoned slavery. To critical thinkers this presents a quandary. If the words of God are immutable why do Christians and Jews no longer follow all? Many argue that God had to "fit in" with the dominant culture. No! In Christian mythology, God is the one who created humans and human culture. We should all agree that a God that condones the beating of slaves and the enslavement of children is an abomination.
Believer say, "Those verses are from the Old Testament and no longer apply because of Jesus."  But that is not so. Jesus states that the laws of the Old Testament still stand. Matthew 5:18:
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

According to Jesus, the Old Testament is alive and well. According to Isaiah 40:8, "the word of our God stands forever." The notion that these Old Testament verses no longer apply is completely untrue according to the Bible. Christians imagine that they "no longer apply" as a way of rationalizing their religion.
Others rationalize that God did not write these slavery passages in the Bible. The Bible was corrupted by slave-loving men. Then the obvious question to ask is: If the Bible has been corrupted, how can we know which parts of the Bible came from God and which parts were inserted by men? You have no way to know.
Thinking about the Bible in this way you will understand something very important about the Bible. Either the entire Bible really is God's Word, or the entire Bible was written by men with no input from God:
If part of the Bible came from God and part from men, which part is which? You do not know if Jesus resurrected, or if that's just a make-believe story inserted by men. How do you know whether God wrote the Ten Commandments or not? If any part of the Bible has been polluted by men, you have to reject the whole thing.

There is no middle ground. The Bible has to be an all-or-nothing book. Either the entire Bible came from God, or none of it did.
You must now see that there are only two possible explanations for slavery passages in the Bible:
  • The Bible is right. God condones slavery. The Bible is God's word. Slavery passages must be God's word too. The laws of the modern nations that make slavery illegal defy God's word.
  • The Bible condones slavery because the Bible was written by slave-owning men, not by God. God is imaginary.
Maybe you have a problem with the first explanation. Surely God would not champion the abomination that is slavery!
Therefore, what you are left with is the second explanation.

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