Month: October 2015

Is it too late to write a new Holy Book?

new_bookThe more science we discover, the less reliable our Holy Books are becoming. Yeah sure we can try to square the circle and say that science and religion go together like peanut butter and jelly. But do they really?

The 6 day Genesis account of the creation of the earth, moon and stars conflicts markedly from the creation account given to us by scientists. Granted science hasn’t yet discovered everything about the beginning of our universe but it has discovered a very old universe.

The timeline in the Bible implies a 6,000 year old universe which is conflicted in every way possible by the evidence we see in scientific discovery.

The instantaneous creation of creatures does not account whatsoever for the distribution of animals around the world. For example, the differences in species on islands makes complete sense given evolution and no sense given the Noah’s ark hypothesis.

Noah’s ark is clearly a fairy tale that left none of the evidence we would expect to see in the fossil record and in geological formations, not to mention genetic variability in animals.

The story of Joshua claiming that the sun and moon stopped in earth’s sky is impossible and makes no sense given what we know about the solar system and planetary orbits. The sun can’t stop in the sky. The earth would have to stop rotating (and then subsequently restart). Also, the moon would fall to earth if it wasn’t rotating around the earth.

Stars falling to earth is an impossibility that only a primitive person (as is written in the sayings of Jesus) could imagine. They thought the stars were just dots in the dome of the sky around earth. The Bible writers had no idea the relative size of stars compared to the earth.

So let’s get real. Either the God of the Bible (Yawheh) is a trickster who puts evidence around us directly conflicting with “His Word” to test our faith or it was written with the limited scientific knowledge of the human writer at that time. So let’s have a thought experiment. Let’s assume there is a God who created the universe. Think about how he might do it. Would he build it and then constantly tinker inside of it? Or would he setup the mechanisms where it runs on it’s own and creates new stars, planets and solar systems? What the evidence shows is that there are various laws of physics that guide matter to form galaxies including stars and planets. And the mechanism of evolution is also part of a biological law of change and adaptation. Science is telling us a very detailed and robust story of a universe that can be mostly understood to be acting in accordance with the laws of physics. Yes there are gaps in our knowledge but what we know so far contradicts all of the ancient holy books.

It seems to me that humans are discovering the universe around them but still looking at the various Holy Books their parents told them were true and assuming they are the only Holy Books possible. One might say I’ll pick the Quaran. One says I’ll pick the Bible. Another says I’ll pick the Book of Mormon. And a few say they’ll pick Dianetics. We are choosing from the books we already have but obviously they don’t match the evidence of the world we see in front of us. The real God needs to dictate a new book to humanity. And that new book needs to reflect the universe and the world exactly as we see it. Only then can we start believing in Him and stop forcing the universe to fit into the teachings of a false book. Clearly the gods of the current Holy Books are false gods.

Can’t we all agree to accept what we see before us and stop lying to protect our Gods and Holy Books? After all, if there are god(s) and they set all this in motion, they did it for a reason and didn’t intend for us to deny their handiwork.

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Why do we deserve hell for sinning?

god-will-give-me-justiceOne of the most popular themes in Christianity is that we are all filthy sinners deserving of death and hell and it’s only by God’s grace that we can be saved. “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10) and “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6)

In addition to our conscience, humans and even animals appear to have a built in concept of justice. So on reflection, it’s clear that this doctrine of eternal punishment for sin is really unjust.

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve were the first humans and also the first sinners (after Satan and his minions). According to most forms of Christianity, all humans from that point forward were born with Original Sin. They are tainted sinners with essentially no capacity to completely resist sinning. There was one person born of a woman who was able to resist sinning and of course that was Jesus. It has been fairly common dogma in the church that Original Sin is passed down in the semen (as St. Augustine described) and therefore Jesus was able to be born without Original Sin. But we are also told that Jesus was tempted in every way essentially and yet still resisted sinning (Hebrews 4:15).

So where does that leave us as humans? Well, we can infer from the evidence that the only person capable of resisting sin was not only born without Original Sin but was also God himself according to trinitarianism. Seems like an unfair advantage to me.

Is sin a valid standard by which humanity should be judged? As an analogy, imagine a dictator whose son was the best pole vaulter in the world. He had achieved the world record in pole vaulting. The dictator ordered that everyone he chose would get a chance to do a pole vault and if they didn’t match or exceed the world record, they were going to be thrown into prison for the rest of their lives. No matter how eager each person was to achieve this feat and avoid the punishment, they were unable. Thus if he chose them to attempt the pole vaulting feat, he was essentially automatically choosing them to face punishment because the task was impossible.

Christians will be quick to point out that all we have to do is believe on Jesus and we’ll be saved (and we are to believe on really flimsy evidence). But that’s as far as the grace goes. Jesus himself said that the path to Heaven is narrow. So according to Christian doctrine, almost all humans who ever lived will be tortured eternally for their crimes. Namely sin. Something that by God’s own creation is impossible to avoid.

Christopher Hitchens said it best about this doctrine (quoting Cardinal Newman), “God created us sick and commands us to be well.

The analogy above about the pole vaulting contest is inadequate as a comparison. At least with the dictator, a person can die to escape the punishment. Not so with the dictator God. A person can never escape. Oh what a monstrous scenario this God has created. I often wonder why we need a Devil when we have this God. Thank God he doesn’t exist.