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From the Mailbag

Got this one on my article on Wayne Dyer:

At the risk of sounding judgmental, the arguments in your “critique” of Dyers work make you sound absurd and trivial, and I’m sure this is not how you really are.

You would perhaps do well to avoid the ridiculous extremes and attempts at semantic cleverness and just state, in plain words, what you really feel.

The March 2012 Loftus Collection

John gets his first Platinum nom with this comment:

Having just heard from my publisher that they want me to submit a proposal for a full length book treatment on The Outsider Test for Faith, I have commenced working on it. So this blog may be silent for days at a time as I write it. Stay tuned though. I'll be around. Subscribe by email, Feed, or become a follower so you don't miss a thing. I know people get tired of me requesting financial assistance, but as I work on this book I'm not focused on earning a living, so please consider supporting my efforts. Christian professors get paid to do what I must do as an independent scholar.

Mixed Atheist Nuts

"Simplexion" explains his qualifications to comment on historiography:

Although I have no training per se, in the field; I have about 7 years of Sunday school and reading of the Bible.

And he says:

Wow... you don’t treat Wikipedia seriously. Amazing. “I ignore a huge source of information because it goes against my beliefs!”

YT user devante, on my designation of the "story of Jephthah":

Well at least you acknowledge it's a story/fable. And not actually reality [took place]

Great. Now we know that All About Steve: The STORY of Steve Jobs and Apple from the Pages of Fortune is actually a fictional work!

Another YT atheist says:

Bin Laden's body also 'disappeared' -- so according to [Mike Licona] it proves that Bin Laden resurrected and appeared to his followers, and then transfigured and rose to heaven

Bart Ehrman's new book defending Jesus' existence is out, and the atheists are already lining up to throw him under the bus, like David Fitzgerald:

[Someone asked] if I was scared of Bart Ehrman's new book arguing the historicity of Jesus - no! I'm looking forward to it as much as I have all his books. IMHO, for such a staunch non-Mythicist, Bart Ehrman's excellent work supports the Mythicist case at least as well, if not more! than his own theory that Jesus was at best a failed apocalyptic prophet....

Doug Shaver rides in on a non sequitur:

If you're going to argue that you don't have to explain how the resurrection could have happened, then you cannot justifiably object when skeptics say they don't need to explain how Christianity could have succeeded without a resurrection.

Mikel, a moronic poster on Deeper Waters, whined that she was there for civil discussion and intelligent debate....AFTER starting out by quoting Thomas Paine at length.

YT troll and fundy atheist jbduke51 expressed doubts that there were really any atheists who spread the lie that Pilate's records didn't mention Jesus. I took just 10 minutes and found three.

Another YT troll:

Here we have more examples of "god's love". Why should I honor my father and mother? Can you demonstrate honoring them is good? Can you demonstrate rebelling against them is evil? You'll not it doesn't say the son has to be a drunkard or a glutton, only that is what the parents accuse him of. The son must simply be stubborn about not kissing his parent's [censored]. You're excuses here are as pathetic as the rest of your bible. Try harder or don't try at all, this was a failure.

YT user Knighttyme, on OT laws being in some cases culturally attuned:

As for the vid. some of the laws applied only to the people of the time. If that is the case remove all that do not apply today. It is not like the bible has not been edited in the past, time to dispense with the invalid instructions.

Cultural universal laws? Still no 'how'

As for the parapet, really? People of the time needed *divine* instruction to build a house safely? Strains 'logic' too much.

An anonymous atheist tells us about his most-studied sources:

Sometimes I wonder how secure Christians are in their faith, when they feel the need to defend their beliefs so vehemently. And if anyone can find "forensic evidence of the actions of God," I will become a believer. And FYI, quoting scriptures isn't evidence. If you'd like to know the truth or untruth of the writings in the Bible, I suggest consulting a bible scholar. Bart Ehrman wrote an excellent book, Jesus, Interrupted. Richard Loftus and John Carrier both have interesting blogs. These are all fundamentalists turned atheist based directly on their studies. Faith is a great thing to have for some people, but for others it's enough. I think instead of arguing over the validity of the bible, everyone should get some qualitative research on it and then make an informed opinion.

Yt user jaynkay100, after reading a detailed apologetics article on Biblical slavery:

and MILLIONS of non-scholarly christians who regularly stumble upon these texts and out of their ignorance misinterpret them. The very need for apologetics belies the utter failures of Christendom. God didn't think when he wrote the Bible, so apologetics was invented to think for him.

JimL wins the Complete Lack of Self-Awareness Trophy:

There is no need to break free from atheism, atheists live outside of the labrynth of religion.

atwas911 has the sloganeering down:

Religion is RAPE of the mind. The only way possible for one to believe in religion, is 1: To either be an extremely stupid person. Or 2: A person who has had their mind raped and abused from birth, force fed false information, and brainwashed as a child. This is the only way religion spreads. An infection of the mind.

The Christian and Theist Collection

Harold Camping apologized, but still earns a Screwball for this contrived rationalization:

Yes, we humbly acknowledge we were wrong about the timing; yet though we were wrong God is still using the May 21 warning in a very mighty way. In the months following May 21 the Bible has, in some ways, come out from under the shadows and is now being discussed by all kinds of people who never before paid any attention to the Bible. We learn about this, for example, by the recent National Geographic articles concerning the King James Bible and the Apostles. Reading about and even discussing about the Bible can never be a bad thing, even if the Bible's authenticity is questioned or ridiculed. The world's attention has been called to the Bible.

jo the Mormon lays out her epistemology:

Where is it written that I should have to agree with a person's theology in order to use the research they have performed and the information they can provide? When I study information, I look at it through spiritual eyes. With the guidance of the Holy Ghost, I can see Truth, as well as lies. Most often I have found that both Truth and lies can be believed by the same person. So if I see any Truth in their words, I pick it up; then I toss aside the lies. I would offer that the same thing happens within Christendom inasmuch as denominations are created due to interpretational differences, as well as distinctions which are made such as Preterism, Hyper-Preterism, etc.

More from franktalk on how to get reliable info:

Don't listen to anyone. Don't trust anyone. Go directly to God for answers. That is the only way to obtain truth. Even if I knew what was true I would have to form that truth into words, so I would in essence interpret it. Then you would hear it but it would be filtered by your worldly experiences so you would get a twice twisted message. Everything on these boards needs to be filtered by truth. Seek truth which does not come from man.

It is by the contradiction that we understand the correct path which is not of men. Your logic knows by common sense that what I said makes no sense because I stated to not trust what I stated. But how does one seek an answer to a contradiction of that nature? That answer lays outside of man. And outside of man's logic. Only when one has a foundation of truth from God can one converse with others who have that same communication. But that conversation seems strange and full of error when viewed by the world. The things of God make no sense to someone who has embraced the world.

cujo006 wins the Megalomania Award at age 22:

However, I've seen enough of Mike Licona's, Nick Peters', and JP Holdings and many other apologists' works to know that their arguments are not really based on solid argumentation in the major areas they're discussing. Holding for example should never comment on the authenticity of the Gospels until he actually looks into his theories about them and sees how faulty they are. Just look at William Lane Craig's debate with Bart Ehrman and watch him slowly disintegrate. Now I am not applauding Bart Ehrman at all. Bart Ehrman's arguments are completely absurd. But so are Craig's, Holdings', Licona's, and I'm pretty positive about Peters' (I've only seen attacks on Geisler which reflect the same type of mistakes more or less).

I don't need to read any books. You simply need to actually learn to criticize your own logic. Nothing you've said here has refuted anything.

Relatedly, a Facebook commenter said:

A fetus is an occupant of someone else's body. An infant is not. Pretending they're morally the same, even if they are developmentally the same (or close to it), is completely stupid.

That said, I don't see anything morally wrong with letting a severely disabled baby die or killing it. I'm talking near-vegetable state, not things like Cerebral Palsy or Down Syndrome.!/atheistpastor -- Platinum Atheist website nominee.

Forum screwball award to Messiah Truth Discussion Forums for not allowing anyone to link to (or even quote) a Christian site - yet they have areas dedicated to counter-missionary efforts. And one of the dinged posters apparently thinks TheologyWeb is Glenn Miller's site. -- Famous Platinum nom.

Vox Day, for having a backwards understanding of the Trinity.