Dec 26, 2014

Beginning of seasons only after the Flood

The Beginning of the Seasons Only After the Flood.
Why God didn't start them after the flood. 

A Christian apologetic view says that once upon a time there was a water canopy above the sky. As Genesis says--
Genesis 1:6 And God said, Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water. 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault "sky."

The sky trapped the sun's rays so that there was a year-round semi-tropical climate. After Noah’s flood, God commenced the seasons--
Genesis 8:22 [God said to Noah] As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. 

But the thing is, the existence of the seasons is already mentioned before the flood‑‑
Genesis 1:14 God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth. And it was so. 16 God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.  

One may wonder what kind of seasons they were. Warm and cloudy ones with soft breezes? Or hot and cold ones, the usual kind.  

The thing is, the earth had seasons before the flood. Despite the apologists. 

Dec 21, 2014

Cain finds a wife

Cain Finds a Wife.
Why apologists invent where she came from. 

In the Old Testament book of Genesis, Cain was kicked out the only family in existence. It consisted of Adam and Eve (the parents) and Cain and Abel (the brothers). But God banned Cain after he killed his brother. He fled and got married in another land.
As for where she came from, apologists have made up answers--
(1) She was a daughter of Adam--after Cain left, Adam and Eve had daughters as the Bible says-
Genesis 5:3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 

So when she grew up, she went away and married Cain. The Bible doesn't say this. Apologists say it. The irony is that Genesis could have mentioned her in one little sentence. But there isn't anything. 

(2) God created men and women elsewhere. Apologists locate the land of Cain's wife outside of Eden, and Cain knew that there were other men and women there, as the Bible says--
Genesis 4:14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me. 

So, on the sixth creative day, God made humans; and, besides Adam and Eve, God created others, too. The Bible doesn't tell us about God making humans besides the two. Only apologists tell us. 

(3) Lilith was Cain's wife. Apologists say that Lilith was the first wife of Adam. In Jewish myth, she left him for good after they didn't get along, and then she became a desert dweller and a she-demon. Jewish legend doesn't say that she married the outcast Cain. Apologists say it.  

(4) God created a female for Cain. After Cain's banishment, God created a woman for him in another land. Pretty good, huh? 

(5) Cain married her before he slew Abel. He married a daughter of Adam before he murdered Abel. When he was banned, she accompanied him to another land. Why she chose to live with a murderer is another question; one would expect her to start over. But she's a made-up person, anyway; so the question isn't really important, anyway. 

Thus there's a hole where the Bible says--
Genesis 4:16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. 

Apologists invent ways to try and solve it. 

I can solve it, too: The anomaly is best explained by a screw-up in the story.

Dec 20, 2014

Third-century Origen claims knowledge from Christ

In the third century, Origen claims knowledge from Christ.
Why the Christian intellectual Origen was careless.  

On Principles (the Preface) by Origen, early third century
"All who believe ... derive the knowledge which incites men to a good and happy life from no other source than from the very words and teaching of Christ. 

"And by the words of Christ we do not mean those only which He spoke when He became man ... for before that time, Christ, the Word of God, was in Moses and the prophets ... Moreover ... after His ascension into heaven He spoke in His apostles 

Dobbie says: Origen knows all of this because he read ... the Bible. However, it's whether there's reality in what he had read.  

Origen: "For without the Word of God, how could they have been able to prophesy of Christ?"  

Dobbie says: Well, they didn't prophesy of Christ. Instead, they turned scripture around to make prophecy of Christ come from it . 

Origen: "I think it sufficient to quote this one testimony of Paul from the Epistle to the Hebrews, in which he says ..." 

Dobbie says: Paul didn't write the Epistle to the Hebrews. It was authored by an unknown around AD 100. 
Origen: "After His ascension into heaven He spoke in His apostles ... shown by Paul in these words: [1 Corinthians 15:3] 'Or do you seek a proof of Christ who speaks in me'?"  

Dobbie says: Origen claims Christ spoke in Paul, the apostle who says Christ spoke in him. Origen claims that Paul know what he was talking about. For Origen, circular reasoning is the end result.  

And this comes from only the first few paragraphs of Origen's preface!

Dec 17, 2014

Looking for basic Christianity

Looking for Basic Christianity.
Why Christianity is mostly inferences of what the Bible says.  

Christian web comment:
"I think I found the core of the discussion in a statement by Ken Ham, the opponent in the debate, at about 56 minutes 10 seconds into the debate. Ham relates the following: "The battle is really about Authority. More than just Science or Evolution or Creationism; it is about who is the authority in this world: Man or God."

Dobbie says: No it isn't. He's really saying is it's about who the authority is in this world, 1) man, or 2) "my interpretation of the Bible." 

Ken Ham says that the earth is just 6000 years old and that the Bible gave him the date. He calls the Bible the word of God. Yet, I say that it's only men, such as Ken Ham, who always speak.  

Christian web comment:
"Keep in mind that to be a Christian one only needs to follow Christ. He set 2 rules. Love God the Father and treat each other the way you want to be treated. No where does it talk about binding to a creation story." 

Dobbie says: Well,  the New Testament letters tell Christians to behave in certain ways. Be nice, don't judge, don't lie or kidnap. Plus other dos and don'ts. So, no way is it just "2 rules" to follow, not unless you throw out the letters of Paul and the rest. Perhaps the person who wrote the above stuff should keep the other New Testament rules in mind. 

"Some people take the predetermination route, others go for good works, and some of us are just hoping for the Grace of God. Still -- no adherence to the Creation Story of Genesis."  

Dobbie says: Well, in the Gospel, Jesus talked as if Adam and Eve were real. And, in Exodus, Moses talked as if God really created the world in six days. So, in order to dismiss those things as not counting, Christians might have to say that Jesus talked only figuratively and that Moses was wrong.  

That person's religious statements are examples of cafeteria Christianity.

Dec 15, 2014

Morality comes from God

Morality Comes from God.
Why the assertion fails.  

Matt Dillahunty and JT Eberhard versus John Mark MIravalle and Mark
 [@53:30] "Where does morality come if not God?" 
Dobbie says: I say they assume that their (supposed) God knows about morality. They may say their God commands stuff. But, I say, it doesn't axiomatically follow that the alleged divine commands have anything to do with morality. 
That is, they are unable to demonstrate that the commands are moral. Therefore, they really have no guarantee that morality itself comes from God. 
They may claim it's morality from God; but commands and morality are two different things. They've yet to show that the alleged divine commands are moral.

Dec 13, 2014

Christian mystery of life

Christian Mystery About Life.
Why the Christian view is so limited. 

The Christian description of existence says that a super-intelligent creator is responsible for all of creation, including the mind of humans.  

But one could ask the Christian why the world is far from perfect if created by a super intelligence. The Christian answer is that human free will is responsible for the fallen world.  

One could ask the Christian how human free will causes the world (creation) get away from the super powerful creator. The Christian answer is that human free will is an act of the intelligent creator's love; that is to say, the creator wants it to be that way, even though creation will fall. The apologist gives this explanation although the Bible doesn't.  

Now one could say to the Christian that free will, resulting in an act of disobedience, is bound to make creation go wrong. One asks the Christian why the intelligent creator designed things so that creation was bound to fall. The Christian answer is that it's how the intelligent creator wants things to be.  

One now ask the Christian why the intelligent creator wants so many humans to go astray. The Christian answer is that it's just the way it is. In other words, one asks the Christian why the intelligent creator made a fallen creation possible to begin with. The Christian answer is that it's just the way it is; furthermore, it's part of a perfect plan.  

One asks what perfect plan is that? But the Christian can't tell you what it is, because the Christian claims he can't comprehend it. He only asserts that it's a perfect master plan, that's all.  

Thus Christians accept a concept that Christians themselves don't understand. Yet the intelligent creator could reveal the perfect plan if that creator had a mind to do so. Instead, the intelligent creator lets it remain a mystery.  

Along those lines, skeptics might say that no matter how you slice it, life is a mystery, and that the Christian argument goes around in a circle. That is, concerning the mystery of life, nothing of depth is revealed in the Christian argument. It's apparent that Christians merely accept the mystery as a fact.  

Meantime, while Christians don't really understand what Jesus is doing, they seek others to accept the dogma. The upshot is that those who accept the dogma simply state that the basic preachment is true while they lack a deeper understanding of it. And that's because, at bottom, it's just a mystery.

Dec 9, 2014

My hypothesis on Christian roots

My Hypothesis on Christian Roots.
Why Today's Christianity is a Sham.  

Dobbie's hypothesis:
The earliest form of Christianity was, I hypothesize, a mystical cult. A form of Jewish mysticism, it stemmed from interpretations of Old Testament scripture. 

The cult also adopted philosophical ideas of Plato, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and the Persian religion of Zoroastranism (God and Devil). Their various motifs included ideas that, the first-century cult believed, would helped set the cultists free from the material world.

So-called Gnostic Christianity shows some of the fusion; secret mystical knowledge, the gnostics believed, would help set them free from the material world. 

The earliest Christian cult promoted a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit; special knowledge, the cultists believed, came by courtesy of the Spirit. Today's Christians claim the same relationship; in fact, they believe that the witness of the Holy Spirit helps set them free.
As time passed, the cultists thought of Jesus as divine; he had been their most active proponent. The followers soon believed that Jesus would favor them with immortality.
The Greek pagan religion already had the god-man Dionysus who granted eternal life.
In the Christian cult, Jesus was cast in the same role. Jesus had started out as only a teacher, but later followers cast him as miracle worker and creator of the world. 
A similar process of being cast as divine is seen in the way some Christians pray to Mary; they make her an assistant to Jesus. To them, she's practically at one with him. 
The doctrine of heaven or hell went along with accepting or rejecting Jesus respectively, an attempt to lend extra authority to the Christian creed.  
The New Testament presents a confusing creed, however, where key points lack clarity. The apostle Paul rationalized about it, he treated this problem with the line, "we see through a dark glass." 
The various New Testament authors spent six decades putting the creed down in writing.
But Christians don't understand it all, anyway. Their spokespersons try to clear it up, but their explanations are often problematic and often show their limited grasp of the creed (such as it is).
I say that gullibility played a major role in the development of the Christian cult.
Watch the video that conveys similar impressions:
Intro to Gnosticism

Dec 7, 2014

Jesus claimed to be God?


Jesus Claimed to be God or Not.
Why there is disagreement in four ways.

In the Gospel of John, either ...
1) Jesus only claimed his pre-existence, not his Godhood.
2) Jesus claimed to be God. 

3) Jesus claimed to be only a mediator, a sage, between men and God, and old scripture talked about his coming.
A commentary says ...
"Looking at the context of the entire gospel of John, Jesus consistently draws a separation between himself and God. He refers to God as 'Father' and shows that he is subordinate to the Father (John 14:28) and was sent at his Father's direction (John 3:16; 17:3)."
Dobbie says: Thus Jesus didn't say he was God; so says the above commentary. It offers a perspective; it doesn't bring closure.

4) Misunderstanding Jesus, Jewish teachers mistrusted him. He had claimed or hinted to be the messiah, but they hadn't expected a messiah like him. Thanks to his ambiguity, they inferred that he claimed a God status, which was a blasphemy; so they acted against him.
Strange that the Jewish teachers were prepared to stone Jesus while it was illegal to do put someone to death without getting Roman permission. The Jewish teachers believed that their scripture permitted them to kill the opposition to their doctrine. Or they only sought to pelt him with stones?
Four possibilities because the Gospel is ambiguous.

Dec 5, 2014

1st-century Jewish philosopher on heaven and hell

 1st Century Jewish Philosopher on Heaven and Hell.
Why he might have influenced the New Testament.
Philo of Alexandria was known for blending Judaic beliefs with the ideas of Greek philosophers. Orthodox Jewish contemporaries of the early first century AD often objected.
Greek intellectualism, he said, agreed with Jewish doctrine.
He looked for hidden messages in Greek myths that harmonized with Jewish beliefs.
Philo also rated the Jewish way of life above the pagan way. The merits of Jewish faith, he said, were the "desire of all nations."
While most Jewish doctrine wasn't clear whether heaven and hell existed, Philo asserted that you earned a place in heaven if you followed the merits of Judaism--
Philo, On Rewards and Punishments [De Praemiis et Poenis] 152 The proselyte [the convert to Judaism] raised aloft by his good fortune will be admired on all sides, marveled at and held blessed on two counts on highest excellence, that he voluntarily came over to the camp of God, and that he has won a most appropriate prize, a secure place in heaven, which one may not describe, while the nobly sired who has debased the coinage of his high lineage will be dragged below and carried deep into Tartarus [hell] itself and profound darkness.
Traditional Jewish belief today says there's an afterlife but doesn't say what it's like. Afterlife could be heaven, hell, or something else.
"A traditional Jewish view holds that death is not the end of human existence."

 "By heaven and hell, I mean reward and punishment in the afterlife. I am not referring to a hell of eternal fire or a heaven filled with harp-playing angels. Any attempt to describe either heaven or hell is likely to sound silly.

"I remember one of my yeshiva rabbis telling us students that heaven is eternal study of the Torah."

 More views on the Jewish concept of the afterlife:
"Jewish theology for the most part contains little on the subject of the after life and leaves a great deal of room for personal interpretation."
"Some Jews believe that we are continually 'reincarnated.' It would be a more 'liberal' or 'secular' Jew who would generally ascribe to this view."
"An orthodox or conservative Jew is more likely to believe that the righteous dead go to a place similar to the Christian view of heaven. This is referred to as Olam Ha-Ba (the world to come) or Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden).
"Those who believe in a heaven also believe in a place similar to a Christian view of hell. The Jewish reference to hell is 'Gehinnom' or 'She'ol.'  The Gehinnom view sounds very familiar to the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. According to most Jewish sources, the period of punishment or purification is limited to twelve months, after which the soul ascends to Gan Eden, or is destroyed if that person was utterly wicked. In addition, some Jewish sources are of the opinion that your time in Gehinnom can be shortened if living friends and relatives pray for you and do good works on your behalf."

Dobbie says: Strange that God didn't tell his chosen about heaven and who qualified to go there.
Jewish teaching had always been indefinite about it.
Then Philo came along and asserted that heaven and hell existed.
Later, Jesus came along, and although Jewish, he also declared that heaven and hell existed.
Thus it makes me wonder whether Philo influenced the Gospel message regarding the existence of heaven and hell.

Dec 1, 2014

Docetism: the other 1st century Christianity

Why it was the other 1st-century Christianity.

 Docetism is the belief that Jesus Christ didn't have a physical body.
Rather, his body was an illusion as was his crucifixion.

Docetae, a heretical sect dating back to the first century, taught that Jesus Christ only appeared as or seemed to be a man; he seemed to have been born, lived, and suffered.

The word Docetae itself, rendered by "illusionists" or "to seem" first occurs in a letter of Serapion, Bishop of Antioch (AD 190-203), to the church at Rhossos.
Troubles had arisen about the public reading of the apocryphal Gospel of Peter. Three passages of that gospel savor strongly of illusionism.

Docetism dates to before AD 100.
The first known advocate of docetism was Cerinthus, circa AD 85.
He held that Jesus differed from other men only in that he was better and wiser than they, and that the divine Christ descended upon him at the baptism, but left him at the cross.
The effect of this reasoning was to make the incarnation an illusion.

Either 1) there was no human Jesus Christ at all, but only an apparition 2) or else the real son of God was simply using the human Jesus as a vehicle of expression, but not in union with him.

Cerinthus flourished c. AD 85-AD 100.
The earliest surviving account of this Cerinthus is that in the Christian intellectual Irenæus--Against Heresies 1.26.1--a refutation of Gnosticism written about 170 CE.
According to Irenæus, Cerinthus, educated in the wisdom of the Egyptians, claimed angelic inspiration.
Cerinthus distinguished between the man Jesus and the Christ, denying the supernatural birth of Jesus and making him the natural born son of Joseph and Mary.
As mentioned earlier, the Christ descended upon him at baptism, but left him again at his crucifixion.

Cerinthus was a Jewish convert to Christianity, espousing first Jewish-Greek philosophy and then becoming acquainted with Christianity, although embracing the faith in a manner obviously altogether different from that of the Christians who believed the kingdom of God.

To repeat, Cerinthus thought that until his baptism Jesus was simply a man, the most wise of men. At his baptism, the spirit of God came to dwell in him.
Before the Passion, the Christ separated himself from the man Jesus, who alone was crucified, died, and rose again.

At times Cerinthus denied even the Resurrection, contending that Jesus would rise again, with all the world, at the Day of Judgment.
Watch the Video:
Docetism: Jesus' Phantom Body

Oct 29, 2014

The Resurrection sequence

The Resurrection Sequence.
Four reasons why it doesn't work. 
1) In three Gospels, other women accompany Mary Magdalene while going to the burial place of Jesus.
The catch is, in chapter 20 of the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene goes alone.
Isn't that nice?

 2) In chapter 20 of the Gospel of John again, Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb entrance to find that the large stone has been rolled back. No one else is there.
The catch is, in chapter 28 of the Gospel of Matthew, Mary Magdalene and another Mary--thus two together--see an angel sitting on the rolled-away stone!

 Thus, in the Gospel of John, no angel sits upon the big stone outside!
Isn't that nice? 

3) In chapter 20 of the Gospel of John again, Mary Magdalene--alone--looks in the tomb and hurries off, to tell about its being empty.
The catch is, in chapter 16 of the Gospel of Mark, three women including Mary Magdalene, look and see an angel inside. Afraid, they run off, but don't tell anyone.
 They tell nobody. Isn't that nice?
The further catch is, in chapter 28 of the Gospel of Matthew, the angel in the tomb tells them to hurry and tell the disciples what they've seen. And so they do it--
Matthew 28:6 "He is not here; he has been raised, just as he said. Come here and see the place where he was lying. 7 Go quickly now, and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from death.' ... 8 So they left the tomb in a hurry, afraid and yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples." 

The Gospel of Mark has said that they didn't tell anyone!
Isn't that nice? 

4) In chapter 28 of the Gospel of Matthew again, the women hurry away from the tomb and encounter Jesus on their way to the disciples’ place! They go tell the disciples that they saw him, and the angel sitting outside.

 The catch is, in chapter 24 of the Gospel of Luke, the women go tell the disciples that they saw two angels in an otherwise empty tomb. That's all they say!

 Thus, you see, in the Gospel of Luke,
they didn't tell the disciples they saw and talked with the risen Jesus!
I guess it must have slipped their mind.
In fact, this Gospel failed to report that Jesus met them on the path going back.
I guess it wasn't very important.
Isn't that nice?

Oct 24, 2014

Where does morality come if not God?

Where Does Morality Come If Not God
Why it's a superficial question. 

A question from a debate:
Matt Dillahunty and J.T. Eberhard vs.
John-Mark Miravalle and Mark Miravall
@ 53:30 "Where does morality come if not God?" 

Bible believers assume that their God knows morality when they ask where moriality comes from.
For example, they say God commands things. The catch is, though, it isn't axiomatic that the commands have anything to do with morality. That is, theists are unable to demonstrate that the commands are moral.
Because commands and morality are two different things, they don't have any assurance that morality itself comes from God. 

Where does morality come from if not God?
From people.
It comes from people, the way people are. 

Again, there's no way for Bible believers to verify that morality comes from God. 

It comes from people.
Morality is often relative. It stems from the way people perceive the world.

Oct 20, 2014

Jesus as history

Jesus as History.
Why Jesus of the Gospels Isn't Historical. 

Christians say that most secular Bible scholars agree that Jesus was a real person.
But what the secular scholars actually mean is, Jesus was an ordinary man; he didn't do miracles.
That is, he wasn't the Jesus of the Gospels.
Jesus wasn't divine is their view; the Gospel writers spun yarns about a supposed miracle man.
A Christian view is that the Gospels satisfy all the scholarly criteria of reliable historical documents.
Well, modern historians don't place their trust in claims of miracles; so the Gospels fail to meet all of the criteria, after all. 
No scholarly view can show that the Jesus of the Gospels is real and not fiction.

Oct 18, 2014

W.L. Craig argues God does what he wants

W.L. Craig Argues God Does What He Wants.
Why his argument flops.
@3:00 W.L. Craig, Christian apologist, responds to atheist Sam Harris, who mentions biblical barbarisms.
@4:00 Craig says, "Those things can't show that God doesn’t exist; they might show “the Bible isn’t an accurate record of what God is like. In writing the narratives, the ancient Israelites got it wrong about God." 
Dobbie says: Well, then, for one thing, W.L. Craig should abandon the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.
Earlier, he allowed for Bible inerrancy. Later, however, he explains that "in writing the narratives, the ancient Israelites got it wrong about God."
W.L. Craig hasn't decided his mind.
Moreover, in behalf of God's actions in the Bible, @5:45 Craig says, “God is not bound by the same moral duties that we are.” 
Dobbie says: So then God causes destructions, after all. How typical of W.L. Craig to turn his own statements around.
Besides, one wonders why God commands warriors to destroy city populations when he could hurl a lightning bolt, thereby doing the job himself. 
I ask, Will the real W.L. Craig please stand up.