Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Beggars All: Reformation And Apologetics: Never Throw Rocks at Scholars in Ivory Towers

This is a really good article on the Beggars All blog that addresses the age-old argument "The scholars who agrees with me are better than the scholars that agree with you!" This is a must read!

Beggars All: Reformation And Apologetics: Never Throw Rocks at Scholars in Ivory Towers

Apologist Interview: Brian Auten - Apologetics 315

This is an awesome interview . If you missed it, you really missed something great!

Apologist Interview: Brian Auten - Apologetics 315

The Future of Technology [Cartoon]



The Future of Technology [Cartoon]

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FacePalm of the Day #121: The Bible Teaches That The Earth Is Flat

Today, I reposted a video here I got from David Woods blog regarding how some Muslims believe that Muhammad taught that the Earth is flat. Ryan Anderson posted the following comment.

Not sure how this doesn't equally apply to the Hebrew Bible (Isaiah 40:22 and 44:24-28*, 1st Samuel 2:8, Proverbs 8:27 and Luke 4:5).
Sure, you can cite Job 26, but that just demonstrates that it's a hodge podge mess.

*probably the inspiration for the very Koranic verse in question.
So why is this FacePalm worthy? Simple: If you examine each of the scriptures Ryan cites, you can see how you assuming that the Bible is teaching a flat earth is unwarranted.

 

Isaiah 40:22



22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
   and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
   and spreads them out like a tent to live in. 
 

This is obviously figurative language. Is Isaiah saying that people are grasshoppers? No.Compared to God, we are like grasshoppers like grasshoppers are just like us. Four descriptions are made in a single verse:

a. Above the circle of earth
b. People like grasshoppers
c. Heavens like a canopy
d. Heavens spread out like a tent

Why would you take a single description out of four and claim it's a truth claim while the others are figurative and all are making a point. Anyone who thinks this is the Bible saying the earth is flat, is missing the point.

Isaiah 44:24-28



 24 “This is what the LORD says—
   your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:

   I am the LORD,
   the Maker of all things,
   who stretches out the heavens,
   who spreads out the earth by myself,
25 who foils the signs of false prophets
   and makes fools of diviners,
who overthrows the learning of the wise
   and turns it into nonsense,
26 who carries out the words of his servants
   and fulfills the predictions of his messengers,

   who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’
   of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’
   and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’
27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry,
   and I will dry up your streams,’
28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd
   and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
   and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’ 

Here Ryan cites 4 verses.  In verse 24, how do "stretches" and "spreads" mean that the earth and heavens are flat? If you are going to think that it's saying the earth is flat then why assume that it is not saying that  the heavens are flat too? Most people who misinterpret the Bible think it's teaching that the earth is flat capped by a sky dome. Obviously God is being poetic and not expecting you to literally imagine the image on the right.  Perhaps if one understood verses 25-28, one would not make such a big mistake.

1st Samuel 2:8

 8 He raises the poor from the dust
   and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
   and has them inherit a throne of honor.

   “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s;
   on them he has set the world. 

More figurative language. "Foundations" at this point means the underlying  rules and source on which creation is based. This does not imply that the earth is flat.

Proverbs 8:27



27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
   when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,  

This is in the middle of a discourse spoken by  Wisdom personified as a woman. . Setting the "heavens in place"  does apply to the earth or heavens being flat. Why make that assumption? It's merely stating that God put everything where it is. As for the horizon, a poetic description of the horizon is used and not a statement of science. The point is showing how much in control God is on everything.


Luke 4:5



 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.  

I'd assume that Ryan and others look at this and think that what is being explained is that the Devil took Jesus to a mountain somewhere and showed him all the land that could be seen from the mountain. The problem is the text does not say that. The text states that the devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in an instant. No one thought at the time that one could naturally go to a mountain anywhere and see all the kingdoms of the world. No one thinks that now, either - even if the earth was flat.  Therefore I'd take it as a miraculous thing that happened - to see all the kingdoms of the world in a short time. Why not? The New Testament is full of miracles.



Nice try. But these verse fail to show the Bible teaching that the earth is flat.

ERIS: World's first realistic simulation of the formation of the Milky Way - YouTube





ERIS: World's first realistic simulation of the formation of the Milky Way - YouTube
Enhanced by Zemanta

Answering Muslims: Muhammad's Flat Earth





Answering Muslims: Muhammad's Flat Earth

Monday, August 29, 2011

Let me google that for you

Here is a pretty cool tool. Ever get tired of people too lazy to do their own Google searches? Send them a link like this: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Textual+Criticism 


Let me google that for you
Enhanced by Zemanta

Maximum PC | Future Interfaces: 15 Peripherals Straight Out of Science Fiction

This is a great article. 15 of the newest technologies that may replace the computer keyboards and mouse. Look at the whole article. Here is my favorite one:

SixthSense - MIT Media Lab

Pranav Mistry may have one of the coolest names around, but he's also a total genius. Mistry, a PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab, spurs the invention of way cool PC-killing stuff. His most acclaimed innovation to date? "Sixth Sense," a "wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information."


Maximum PC | Future Interfaces: 15 Peripherals Straight Out of Science Fiction
Enhanced by Zemanta

Rise of 'Anonymous' Fuels Sales Of Time Warner's 'V For Vendetta' Masks - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

This is an interesting article from Comics Alliance.

In a New York Times piece published this week, writer Nick Bilton makes the keen observation that the cultural ascension of hacker group Anonymous has been a financial boon for Warner Bros., the media company that owns the Guy Fawkes image that protesters wear as a mask. Based on the character "V" from Alan Moore and David Lloyd's classic graphic novel V For Vendetta (as well as the film based on the book), the Guy Fawkes mask sells over 100,000 units a year, with Warner Bros. -- the parent company of comics publisher Vertigo -- earning a licensing fee for each mask sold.

Having staged popular protests, acts of civil disobedience and well-documented hacks against such targets as the Church of Scientology, the Iranian government, Sony, credit card companies and many more, Anonymous is the world's most visible expression of anarchy and rebellion in the digital age. It is a curious irony that the group's activities necessarily fund the activities of the sort of establishment they might seem predisposed to dislike, Warner Bros. and its parent entity, Time Warner.




Rise of 'Anonymous' Fuels Sales Of Time Warner's 'V For Vendetta' Masks - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Does This Remind You Of Something? #1 Tablets

We are living in a day where things are being invented and marketed by engineers and scientists who were inspired by childhood fictional technology. Here's an example. What do these remind you of:

Above is a diagram of a generic tablet computer. Let's set aside for a moment what kind of tablet and just think about a technology.. These devices remind me of:


From....wait for it


FacePalm of the Day #120 - Debunking Christianity: Christianity Will Die From Embarrassment

John Loftus has posted the following comment:

Take Exhibit A, Pat Robertson. Statements like the ones he makes will continue being an embarrassment to evangelicals who will gravitate more to the left, while the left will continue to jump ship. This will take some time but it's already taking place. Thank the ever-present almighty internet. Thank you, thank you very much.

If you click the "Pat Robertson" link you will go to an article that lists quotes that Pat Robertson has said that some of which are just plain stupid and un-defendable. Truth is that there is no reason to even try to defend them. Pat Robertson matters no more than you or I when it comes to defining what it means to be "Christian". Pat Robertson's words and opinion mean nothing. He didn't die for me. He wasn't "raised for my justification". Jesus was. Jesus is Lord and master. For John Loftus' sentiment to matter, Robertson would have to be speaking for Jesus. I wish I could say "Nice Try, Mr Loftus," but then I'd be lying.


Debunking Christianity: Christianity Will Die From Embarrassment
Enhanced by Zemanta

Faithful Thinkers: Video: Loved Ones in Hell

Norman Geisler answers a question that many atheist/skeptics brings up: How will a believer feel about a loved one who goes to hell.




I liked Dr. Geisler's answer. However I think that he could have spent more time on the point he raised about God's absolute justice. I don't want anyone to go hell, especially someone I've known, loved, and/or interacted with. IT really comes down to the following question for a believer: "How much do you really trust God?" Do you trust him to go as far as believe that He is doing everything for the best -  that he never makes a mistake or misstep? If you believe that then you don't have to worry about your loved ones. All we have to do is obey God and witness to everyone who we come into contact with - and if necessary use words! I would feel far worse realizing that I could have told someone about Jesus and they ended up going to hell without hearing about Jesus from me.

Faithful Thinkers: Video: Loved Ones in Hell
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, August 27, 2011

FacePalm of the Day #119 - Debunking Christianity: Americans Have Lost Faith In Religious Leaders And Church Attendance

Aelita,facepalm,Motivational posterJohn Loftus has posted the following

So says a new book.

I've got to ask: Even if this is true, so what? Does this mean that the Bible is wrong? No. Does it mean that there is no God? No. Does this mean we are not accountable to God? No. Given the nature of people and what the Bible says, it's exactly what I'd expect.

3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. - 2 Timothy 4:3-4


And


18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. - 1 John 2:18-19


Debunking Christianity: Americans Have Lost Faith In Religious Leaders And Church Attendance
Enhanced by Zemanta

The Four Levels Of Geek Fandom - G4tv.com

The Four Levels Of Geek Fandom - G4tv.com

Minimum Wage and the Prices of Comics [Analysis + Opinion] - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

I just saw an article that I cannot recommend highly enough. I've often thought about how comics are a good metric for looking at how language, culture, and moral attitudes have changed overtime, but I had not quite thought about how looking at comic books can also be used to study economic trends.


For an in-depth discussion of the role of comic book pricing in the future success or failure of Direct Market comic book distribution, ComicsAlliance welcomes guest writer Von Allan, creator of the graphic novels Stargazer and The road to who knows.... In this comprehensive piece, which he graciously allowed us to republish, Allan tracks the prices and popularity of comics with the history of the minimum wage in the United States.

Really interesting stuff! Especially since Allan also compares the price of movie tickets with the history of the minimum wage in the United States.

Minimum Wage and the Prices of Comics [Analysis + Opinion] - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews
Enhanced by Zemanta

Faithful Thinkers: Is Heaven Eternal?

Luke Nix has posted an interesting article summarizing answers to two of the most common questions regarding Hell:

Is Hell Eternal?
a. Is Annihilation a possibility?
b. Is Salvation after punishment an option?

He lays these out very well and compare what people are choosing to believe with what Scripture says.

Faithful Thinkers: Is Heaven Eternal?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hawking and the Grand Designer MP3 by Peter S. Williams - Apologetics 315

A short time ago, Brian Auten posted a lecture by Peter S. Williams on Hawking's book The Grand Design.  take a listen if you missed it. 

Hawking and the Grand Designer MP3 by Peter S. Williams - Apologetics 315
Enhanced by Zemanta

Faithful Thinkers: Video: More People in Heaven or Hell?

Last week, Luke Nix posted the following video of Dr Norman Geisler asking a question about the number of people who will end up in heaven verses the number in hell.




Faithful Thinkers: Video: More People in Heaven or Hell?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Is God a Moral Monster? (An Interview with Paul Copan) : Line of Fire

Dr Paul Copan was recently interviewed by Dr Michael Brown  on his broadcast "Line of Fire". It was really good! Listen to the broadcast. I really enjoyed it. It was well worth listening to.


Is God a Moral Monster? (An Interview with Paul Copan) : Line of Fire
Enhanced by Zemanta

Bible skeptic claims that a volcanic eruption may disprove Abrahamic religions | True Freethinker

Mariano Grinbank has posted a great article discussing the charge that a volcanic eruption explains the plagues in Egypt and Exodus. Read Mariano's article and see this farce for what it is.

Bible skeptic claims that a volcanic eruption may disprove Abrahamic religions | True Freethinker

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Astrophysicist Interview: Jeff Zweerink - Apologetics 315

This week Brian Auten interviewed Dr Jeff Zweerink. H?e is an astrophysicist and works with Reasons To Believe. I really liked the interview. My favorite part was the distinction he made in the different models for multiverse. I wouldn't refer to the first model as a multiverse, but it is good to recognize that some do. If you have not hard this yet check out the following link.

Astrophysicist Interview: Jeff Zweerink - Apologetics 315

William Lane Craig vs. Herb Silverman Debate: Does God Exist? MP3 Audio - Apologetics 315

Here is a debate worth checking out William Lane Craig vs Herb Silverman debate about the existence of God. Thanks to Brian Auten we have an audio link and a video link.




William Lane Craig vs. Herb Silverman Debate: Does God Exist? MP3 Audio - Apologetics 315
Enhanced by Zemanta

Software Piracy: the Untold Tales [Infographic]





Software Piracy: the Untold Tales [Infographic]

Extending battery life is a walk in the park

Now this is an idea: wearing a shoe that converts your walking power into electricity to power one's smart phone. We've got to get working!

Extending battery life is a walk in the park
Enhanced by Zemanta

FacePalm of the Day #119 - Debunking Christianity: I Have Better Answers to Fundamental Questions Than Christians Do

Good ole John Loftus. Always good for a  facepalm post. Let's take things slowly although we already know where its going to go. 

A local church has an advertisement in our newspaper for a thirteen week course on basic church teachings purporting to have the correct answers to fundamental westernized questions. I deny someone to tell me why my succinct answers to these questions aren't much much better than what they will say. Here goes:

Who is God?

It all depends on who you ask. This means your answers depend on what you were taught to believe. There is no objective basis for any of them. So the most reasonable position is to be skeptical of any given answer. If monkey's had gods they would conceive them to be just like them.



This doesn't really answer the question. What about the God revealed in the Bible? Does the God described in the Bible in any way resembles the kind of God you would expect people would make up? I don't think so. When you compare the gods of paganism with Yahweh, you get some strange inconsistencies. For example John Loftus often likes to argue that God's omnipotence and omniscience and omnipresence are logically inconsistent and that's true if you understand God the way he does and not the way the Bible describes Him.   Loftus' God is bound by time and space. While the God of Bible is expressly described oppositely.


What About Angels?

Angels were previously known as divine beings sired by Yahweh and his consort, the "queen of heaven," known as Asherah. They were known as "sons of god" and cohabited with women to produce the giant mythical beings known as Nephilim. As the Hebrews become monotheistic these beings evolved to become known as the "watchers," probably intermediary beings between the gods and men. Later they became known as "angels," messengers from God. Editors tried to re-write the OT according to their post-Babylonian monotheistic understandings.

I often find that Loftus completely misunderstand the Bible and here is a case. No where in the Bible is God shown to have a wife or sexual in any way. The "sons of god" in Genesis 6 were not supernatural but men. I find it amazing given Loftus' aversion to supernatural concepts that he would opt for this interpretation. Anything to make the Bible seem wrong I suppose.  If people edited the Old Testament to change things like God having sex and having a consort, where is evidence?  Where are these unaltered texts from before the Babylonian exile? Easy. No such thing. He's making it up by looking at Canaanite culture and writings. No proof at all that Judaism as proscribed by Moses had any such features.
 
Will I go to heaven or hell?

Again, it all depends on who you ask. One Christian denomination condemns the other one and vice versa, while Muslims condemn them all to hell.



Without Jesus we all deserve hell. We are sinners. Through Jesus we have life.
See John 8:24. Jesus said:




"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

Is the Bible a divine book?

;-)

There isn't a trace of a divine author behind the pages in the Bible. Everything in it is more credibly understood as the musings of ancient pre-scientific superstitious barbaric agency detectors.


Sure. Proof? Loftus is making a claim. He often makes this claim. Can he substantiate it?  Hasn't yet.

How does God answer my prayer?

He doesn't. Prayers are answered just about as often as good luck and bad luck happens. Christians habitually say God doesn't intervene with free choices, so if that's true then prayers that involve other human beings have no chance to be answered. Read more here.




What Christians say that God doesn't intervene with free Choices? Names? Sources?  I don't. The Bible doesn't say that. I can't find that. No one is save if God doesn't interfere in their free will choices by changing their will.

Why is there suffering in the world?

From the theistic point of view this is inexplicable. But from evolutionary science this is natural, something we would expect to find.



Inexplicable? I guess, Loftus hasn't been paying attention to Theodicy for the past centuries. Just because you don't like the answer doesn't mean there is no answer. Given scripture and the presence of sin all around us why would you expect to have different than what we have?



18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.- John 8:18-30


Why is Jesus Christ important to me?

;-)

I can't think of any reason why he should be at all.






I can:





Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” - Acts 4:12

What happens to my soul when it dies?

There is disconfirming evidence showing we don't have souls. Regardless, when humans die we go where all animals go when they die, including the skunk, the lion, and the shark. Since we are descendants of prior species then we all go to the same place, into dust from whence we came.


Proof? Another unsubstantiated claim? Who says humans don't have souls? Why should I accept this presupposition? Why should you?

What will happen at the end of the world?

The world will be burned up as the sun expands in about 2 billion years or so. Eventually the whole universe will reach absolute zero degrees and the chemical elements that make it up will disintegrate until there is nothing but blackness. Read more here.

hmmm....what does the Bible say? 

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
- 2 Peter 3:10-14

Sounds similar.

I fail to see how John Loftus offers any good answers at all.


Debunking Christianity: I Have Better Answers to Fundamental Questions Than Christians Do
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, August 22, 2011

Create Your Free Twitter Data Infography « TechNews Blog

How much do your tweets say about you!? You can find out using the article linked to this post. Here is the infographic that was generated based on my tweets.




Create Your Free Twitter Data Infography « TechNews Blog
Enhanced by Zemanta