Thursday, June 28, 2012

FacePalm of the Day - Debunking Christianity: Why don't all animals photosynthesise? (the Problem of Evil revisited)

Jonathan Pearce has posted one of his videos on Debunking Christianity. It is an attempt to pose the Problem of Evil in such a way that "free will" theodicies will not work."Free Will" theodicies annoy me almost as much as arguments like the ones presented below.





Pearce writes:

The follow on question, asked in the book, is why it was deemed necessary to design a system whereby animals need energy at all. There is a much wider debate vis-a-vis energy in this here universe.

And here is the video's description:

This video seeks to pose a really difficult question that God needs to answer! If God is omnibenevolent, -potent and -scient then why dis he design a world where the pain and suffering of billions of animals is required so that other animals can merely exist?

The problem is arguments like this that ask why did God create a world in which animals must kill other animals to survive miss a very key point: we are looking at the creation after the fall. According to scripture, there was nothing killing anything before Adam disobeyed God. There was no dying or death. We miss the fact that sin is really that bad. There was no decay. There was no pain or suffering. God's creation was perfect and then by choosing to reject God we started evil in this world. Everyone. Even those who have repented did not start that way.

When God restores the universe back to the way it was before people screwed up. we won't have animals killing other animals.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox. - Isaiah 11:6-7



24 Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord. - Isaiah 65:24-25

I know what you are thinking.:  I didn't answer the question for why God didn't make us so that we would make food using photosynthesis or some other mechanism. It's moot. Had we not been sinners, there would be no death. However, the reason why God doesn't spontaneously intervene so that we have no evil or death because if He did, none of us would be here. We would not have been born. And God has a purpose and reason for everything that happens or is done.The Bible even tells us why. Have a look at Paul's Theodicy:

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. - Romans 8: 18-27




Debunking Christianity: Why don't all animals photosynthesise? (the Problem of Evil revisited)

68 comments:

  1. "The problem is arguments like this that ask why did God create a world in which animals must kill other animals to survive miss a very key point: we are looking at the creation after the fall. According to scripture, there was nothing killing anything before Adam disobeyed God. There was no dying or death."

    As well as the logical incoherency there, where is the empirical evidence?

    Only, we have evidence of predation from 550 million years ago. This predates homo sapiens by... 550 million years.

    So, evidence for predation is... all over the shop. Evidence for the fall is... based on ONE reading of a 2000 year old anonymous and uncorroborated text.

    And you call THIS a facepalm? Man.

    Please try not to confuse assertion for evidence, let alone plausibility..

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  2. Jonathan; Marcus believes Noah and Peleg lived 550 million years ago. Because the bible doesn't say they didn't.

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  3. Oh dear. What circularity! And at the centre of this circle? The bible, whose claims can be empirically refuted (ie your claim above).

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  4. As I wrote on the DC thread, it's funny how I asked this question to theologian and philosopher William Lane Craig in person, and his response was "interesting question" and £he didn't have an answer for it". Marcus, in his humility, thinks it's a facepalm. He must be the biggest genius in the world!

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  5. The Bible has not been refuted and certainly not by you. Better people than you have tried and failed. Dr William Lane Craig is gifted and a wonderful brother in the Lord, but he is just a man. He can be and has been wrong. (Oh the shock.) He's not my (nor should be anyone's) final authority. Jesus is. And the Bible is clearly enough to answer this question. That is why scripture is the final authority. I'm no genius but my God is. I didn't write it. Don't be mad because it answers your unanswerable question. The Earth could be 4.5 billion years old and the book of Genesis could still be true. The Bible does not say that the earth is under 10000 years old. That's one interpretation and I don't hold it. And Ryan misconstrues an argument I made months ago that Peleg's time was when the continents began to divide. He conceded that was a possibility but that he didn't believe it. You don't have to believe it. Even if I am wrong, that does not make the Bible wrong. And as for original sin, just what interpretation could you hold that wouldn't conclude that you are sinner in need of savior from you? It's there from Genesis to Revelation. I don't expect you to say it is true, but you can't deny that it's in the Bible and that is a separate question than trying to prove it false. The reason you don't want to accept it because it leads to the question about how you are going to square things with God. You owe a debt you can't pay.

    Oh and the video is just short of a faceplant because the only thing saving it is that it is interesting, but scripture answers it by telling us what God did.

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  6. But all of that seems to refer to humanity, not to predation amongst animals. And predation existed before humans did. And we can empirically show that there is no evidence for humanity, indeed there is positive evidence against it, existing at the time of continental shift. It is contrary to evolution, contrary to geology, paleontology and so on.

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  7. No. ReRead Romans 8. I quoted it. Human sin is horrible that it not only is it the cause for our own suffering but for everything that suffers - the whole of Creation is being subjected to suffering because we don't obey God.

    As for your complaint that the Bible is a contradiction to "evolution, contrary to geology, paleontology and so on" I haven't the time to explain why I disagree. SO I'm going to come back to that later after more careful thought for a more substantive answer than if I just tried to answer now. That's definitely not a faceplant or facepalm worthy subject (some improvement).

    In the meantime this will suffice: God is right.

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  8. You are missing the point. We know predation predates human existence and therefore human sin.

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  9. No, I understand what your argument is. I reject it is all. If my understanding means that I have a contradiction between a conclusion (I supposed is drawn from my own observations) and what the Bible say then one of three possibilities exist:

    1. My understanding of the physical world lead me to the wrong conclusion.
    2. I got the Bible wrong and it does not say what I think it is saying.
    3. 1 and 2 or both true.

    Your problem is you assume the option that the Bible is wrong and not that more prayer, study, and experimentation are needed to sort out the conclusion. I'd say that is way more arrogant than my position.

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  10. I reject it is all.

    On what possible grounds???

    Your problem is you assume the option that the Bible...

    Your problem is that the bible being wrong is not even among your possible options.

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  11. No that is your default position which you have yet to prove. Good luck with that.

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  12. No that is your default position which you have yet to prove.

    It's not actually my default position, but is it or is it not true that the bible being wrong is not even among your possible options?

    A simple yes/no will suffice.

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  13. I've answered this and I will do so one more time. If the Bible was wrong I would abandon Christianity, but it's not wrong. You can't demonstrate that there are errors in the Bible. And you are just using your belief that it is wrong to substantiate your rebellion against God. Drank the Kool aid.

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  14. But can't you see the patent riidiculousness of your position. It is circular. You always use the bible to prove the bible, therefore leaving it in a sense unfalsifiable.

    Then you position it to have higher epistemological value than empirical evidence derived empirically. This means that it CAN'T be proved wrong in your epistemology. Even when it is proved wrong, when we DO provide evidence, you reject the evidence by throwing out yet another tired bible verse.

    It's a very poor way at attempting to arrive at truth. It is simply not reliable. You have no epistemological way of ensuring reliability. This is why we laugh at your answers, because they simply end up being assertions, and nothing more.

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  15. I am not proving the Bible with the Bible. I correct the utter butchering of the text you keep doing. That must be done first before you try to figure out if it is true or not. If you are going to try to provide evidence for the Bible being correct at least try to get what the Bible says correctly instead of the endless parade of straw men. It is ridiculous. Your assertions are particularly humorous because not only are your conclusions unwarranted and unreliable they continue to show that the Bible is true. The wicked truly don't know why they stumble.

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  16. " I correct the utter butchering of the text you keep doing. "

    Hmm, didn't refer to it once here.

    Your problem is you 2 sources for your truth about the world:

    1) the bible (anonymous 2000 year old book)
    2) Personal revelation (subjective and unreliable)

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  17. You are right you didn't refer to the Bible for the video. how would you expect to evaluate God's actions without seeing what the Bible says about what you are asking. Mistake number one.

    1. Who says the Bible is anonymous? It is divinely inspired. And there are parts of the Bible that no one rational denies being more than 2000 yrs old.

    2. I don't claim personal revelation especially in answering this post. Merely just reading the text. Which you don't do.

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  18. You base your sources for your worldview is your own limited reasoning. No human being is able to understand the world in its completeness and you are leaving a great deal on the table when you ignore God. God exists whether you consciously recognize God or not. Whatever you do understand or get correct is only by God's love and mercy.

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  19. If the Bible was wrong I would abandon Christianity, but it's not wrong.

    This doesn't answer the question. The question was, when you read the bible, and you come across a contradiction, is the bible being wrong one of your possible conclusions?

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  20. @Ryan Anderson

    Your question is silly because there are no contradictions in the Bible.

    @Jonathan Pearce

    Obviously the source of scripture is where this comes down to. If tne Bible is merely the product of human imagination, you are right it would be a citcular argument. It is a subject deserving of its own post and too important to just relegate it to comments. Expect a full post soon. I will even put a link to the post in this comment thread.

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  21. Good, because this has been a defining issue I have with every single one of your replies over time. You seem to defend the bible with more bible quotes.

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  22. Your question is silly because...

    Why are you so afraid of answering direct questions?

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  23. @ Ryan Anderson

    How do I answer a question about Bible contradictions when there are no contradictions? Rational much?

    @Jonathan Pearce

    I would not have to use Bible verses in reply to you if you applied proper hermeneutics and comprehension to the text. If you correctly presented the Bible and what it actually says as well as what Christians say about it then much frustration could be avoided. The problem is you really have to come to an agreement on what the text says before you can properly discuss if its true or not. otherwise, how do you know what you reject? I find most of your arguments to be against what people in church say and do and not what scripture actually says.

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  24. How do I answer a question about Bible contradictions when there are no contradictions?

    The question wasn't about specific contradictions, but what how you handle it if/when you come across one.

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  25. Like I said, I have not found a contradiction and if I thought I did I would make sure it was a contradiction and not my own mistake before concluding the Bible was wrong. So far all the mistakes you have pointed out has been your own.

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  26. Like I said, I have not found a contradiction

    I'm sure it's not for a lack of trying.

    ...and if I thought I did I would make sure it was a contradiction and not my own mistake before concluding the Bible was wrong.

    Good for you if you actually mean that. I doubt it, but only you know.

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  27. Yes, especially since you cannot find a contradiction in the Bible.

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  28. I've found countless contradictions. You and I have different standards. I believe your standard is flawed. End of story.

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  29. Bring them. The last time I challenged you, you had to give it to me. If you bring another one, you will loose that one too. The fault isn't your standards, it's your understanding. So bring your best contradiction. Book. Chapter. Verses. I'm waiting.

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  30. The last time I challenged you, you had to give it to me

    I don't recall, refresh my memory.

    If you bring another one, you will loose that one too.

    So, the bible containing actual contradictions is not an option for you. Yes or no?

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  31. I don't recall, refresh my memory.

    http://mmcelhaney.blogspot.com/2012/05/come-and-get-it-temptation-in-bible.html

    And if you decide to try to bring up another "contradiction" make it harder.

    , the bible containing actual contradictions is not an option for you. Yes or no?

    Prove it.

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  32. http://mmcelhaney.blogspot.com/2012/05/come-and-get-it-temptation-in-bible.html

    Did you just provide us with a random blog post? I don't see a challenge, let alone one that wasn't answered or given in to.

    Prove it.

    ??? I think you may have misread.

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  33. You are forgetful or like lying. You alleged that there was a contradiction in James 1:13 vs. Genesis 22:1. Remember now? You conceded:

    But I'll give you this one since we're talking about two different languages, even though in many of the 36 times nacah is used in the OT it's used EXACTLY like peirazō is used in James.

    And then when I wouldn't allow you the wiggle room, you tried to save face trying to shift the focus from your failure to apply rudimentary exegesis by trying to bring up the "gender" of God. Your fall back when you are loosing an argument - which you keep loosing.

    Still waiting for you find a single real contradiction in the Bible. Not holding my breath. I want to live.

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  34. And then when I wouldn't allow you the wiggle room, you tried...

    Wow, there's a lot more going on in your version of this blog then there actually is. And you say you never do eisegesis...

    In any case, there are many biblical contradictions, which would include places where parts of the bible are contradicted by reality, where the old part of the bible contradicts the new part (or vice verse) and most damning of all, there even internal inconsistencies within individual books.

    These exist, they're cataloged, and they are numerous, but I have confidence that any believer can rationalize away any problem from any religious text.

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  35. If I have misrepresented what happened, prove it.

    And if there are numerous contradictions in the Bible you ought to to be able to just point out at least one. The burden of proof is on you. I don't think you have thought this through. Put up or shut up.

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  36. I have confidence that any believer, yourself included Marcus, can rationalize away any problem from any religious text.

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  37. I am surprised you cannot see that your position is fallacious on several counts - possibiiiter ergo probabiliter and circularity.

    As chriatians, you have had some 2000 years to attempt to iron out the legion of contradictions in the bible. You presently have an answer for all of them. The problem is, is that merely providing an answer for a contradiction does not imply that the contradiction is solved. The answer needs to be be more probable than the alternative hypothesis (that the bible is providing a contradiction). This is the possibiliter ergo probabiliter fallacy, or possible therefore probable.

    However, due to your circular fallacy, you will always, a priori, find the attempted harmonisation more attractive, even though objectively it is incredibly implausible.

    The problem here is that you start off with an a priori assumption that the bible has no contradiction. Then you look at the contradictions, and you search around for harmonisations, and take on one for each contradiction. Straight away the harmonisation is a success for you since you have already started off with the a priori assumption that the bible has no contradictions.

    This process then leads you on to the conclusion that the bible has no contradictions. But you never realised that you started off with that as your premise since you recognise it as you conclusion.

    Your argument is circular and thus fallacious.

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  38. This process then leads you on to the conclusion that the bible has no contradictions. But you never realised that you started off with that as your premise since you recognise it as you conclusion.

    The Bible not having contradictions is not my starting point. It's been my conclusion after not finding any. If you are right that it contains contradictions, you ought to be able to prove it. Just provide one. Ryan Anderson can't. Maybe you can. Doubt it, but give it a try. Double dog dare you.

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  39. Marcus; do you think the quran contains contridictions? Either contridicted by nature, the bible or itself?

    If so, can you provide the sura and verse?

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    1. Ryan, I've posted several articles on this blog talking about this very thing. But let's just use what I think is the best example of a historical contradiction: Surah 4:157

      40 Arabic Words

      More results you should look at it

      It's not even an exhaustive list. If you want more, I'll be happy to point you to more.

      Delete
    2. You didn't answer my question. Come'on: Book, chapter, and verse.

      Delete
  40. Burr's old-school book gave plenty of prima facie contradictions, many of which can be treated with some fairly ordinary exegesis, but some you have to twist and squirm. It depends how far you want to plead 'context' (see nonstampcollector's awesdome video on this).

    "God is jealous" and "God is love", but "love is not jealous".

    "God changeth not" and "God repented".

    "Let the children come unto me" and "slay all but the virgin girls".

    "Thou shalt not kill" and "slay every man, woman, child and beast".

    "Honor thy father and mother" and "he who doesn't despise his father and mother cannot follow me".

    "No one hath seen God" and "God showed him his back parts".

    "God is just" and "God punishes even to the fourth generation".

    2 Samuel 24:1 (N.I.V.) Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go and take a census of Israel and Judah."

    1 Chronicles 21:1 (N.I.V.) Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel

    and so on.

    Then there are the factual ones. Who is whose son? The genealogies contradicting each other such that they can't even agree on who Joseph's father was. The only recourse is something like pleading Levirite Law but this simply doesn't work and there is no evidence for it.

    How man sons did Zerubbabel have?

    Then there are external contradictions such that Jesus cursed a fig tree out of season but they don't have seasons etc (though there is clear symbology here, it is still silly - like saying you liken Israel to the horn of a rabbit...). Di dthis event happen before or after Jesus chased the money-lenders from the temple because mark and matthew disagree.


    Ezra 2:5 "The children of Arah, seven hundred seventy and five."

    Nehemiah 7:10 "The children of Arah, six hundred fifty two "

    Ezra 2:12 "The children of Azgad, a thousand two hundred twenty and two."

    Nehemiah 7:17 "The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two ."

    Ezra 2:65 "Beside their servants and their maids, of whom [there were] seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and [there were] among them two hundred singing men and singing women."

    Nehemiah 7:67 "Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom [there were] seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women."

    Ezra 2:19 "The children of Hashum, two hundred twenty and three."

    Nehemiah 7:22 "The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight ."

    Anyone that can shrug away clear, numerical contradictions can rationalise anything, and in so doing, will show how worthless that avenue of debate is.

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  41. Some more:

    1 Kings vs 2 Chronicles

    When did Baasha die?

    1 Kings 16:8 "In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years."

    2 Chronicles 16:1 "In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah."

    2 Kings vs 2 Chronicles

    Ahaziah began his reign when he was 22 in 2 Kings 8:26 and 42 in 2 Chronicles 22:2.

    2 Kings 8:26 reads, "Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel."

    2 Chronicles 22:2 reads, "Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri."

    Mark vs Geography

    Mark 7:31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis.

    These are the facts of the matter: 1)Tyre sits North of the Sea of Galilee, 2)Sidon sits north of Tyre. 3)The Decapolis sits south of the Sea of Galilee. "Mark" has Jesus either walking in two directions at once OR walking NORTH and arriving in the south.

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    1. You know I asked for good examples. I know that you think that these are clear contradictions and I disagree. But rather than just throw assertions back and forth and not getting anywhere. I've seen several of these things from Muslims, and I think it would be really insightful to go through these one by one and clearly explain why you think that they are contradictions and why my explanation is wrong. If you are willing to do that, I'm willing to go through each one of these and let you respond. I also would suggest that if there are any specific passages you want to discuss, you should send them. So how about it? Are you willing?

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  42. Well, al-Safa, al-Razi and al-Shirazi all would argue that sura 4:157 is referring to the holy spirit, which resides in the body of Jesus as the thing that was not being killed or crucified in the sura.  The death of the body is what the quran is referring to when it says “it was made to appear to them [that he was killed/crucified]” and that there is actually no contradiction.    

    See, anyone can do it.  PBUH

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  43. The Holy Spirit does not reside in the body of Jesus and your googled search does not in anyway represents the majority Islamic interpretation. It's like trying to claim that all Christians are snake-handlers or poison drinkers. You really have no honor or shame do you? You'll misrepresent anyone's text.

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  44. PRovE theyr NOt right!!!1!

    The point being, Marcus, they're rationalizations are no different than any of yours. I'm confident there is no problem with the quran that cannot be reconciled. In this case they either reject the historicity of the crucifixion (not that big of a stretch really) or they reconcile the two texts. Easy peasy.

    Believers will reconcile anything. Its what you do.

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  45. It's a fact that most Muslims do not try to reconcile Surah 4:157 with the Bible or history. And are truly misguided if you reject the historicity of the Crucifixion - only the "sholars" out in left field think that. You are virtually alone. And to suggest otherwise means that you really are not interested in anything but your own imagined reality. Not Truth.

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  46. It's a fact that some Muslims do try to reconcile Surah 4:157 with the Bible or history.

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    1. Some not most. And those that would are not mainstream in the slightest.

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  47. look, with 2000 years of trying, it is no surprise that you may have answers for every contradiction. In fact, I know you do. However, those answers are not good enough. They would simply not stand up in a court of law. And this brings me back to one of my original points - that you fall into the possibiliter ergo probabiliter fallacy. Just because there is an answer does not mean to say it is in ANY WAY plausible.

    Now I believe that the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection are contradictory. I know all the harmonisations that you could give because I have been arguing them for years. They simply do not wash for me, and anyone else who is not presuppositionally committed to the rectitude of the bible. They are, in the main, entirely laughable. So you can wax lyrical all you want. You will no doubt convince yourself. That is not hard. However, convincing someone with sound rational cognitive attributes is another matter.

    In other words, I am really not interested in hearing your paltry attempts at harmonising the great many contradictions of the bible. I know many good Christians who accept them, and many good Christians who don't. One of my best friends, a trained theologian, the more he learns and studies the bible, the more liberal he becomes in accepting the more plausible hypothesis rather than the one that doctrine commits him to. Simply put, like every other piece of literature on earth, it has its issues. To claim otherwise is to commit yourself to one of the most gargantuan cases of special pleading one can adopt.

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    1. I'll take that as: "No, I am not interested in rational discussion to see if my conclusions really hold any weight."

      That's your prerogative.

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  48. Actually, it's also a fact that all Muslims (at least all who take sura 4:157 at face value) do reconcile it with history by rejecting the prevailing western historical narrative.

    This is very similar to how you reject the prevailing scientific narrative so you can reconcile numerous parts from your bible (a literal Adam and Eve, Noah's flood, Peleg living on Pangaea, etc...)

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    1. Not similar at all. Why don't we really look at the text and see if its as contradictory as you would like to pretend?

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  49. Not similar at all.

    Totally...

    Why don't we really look at the text...

    Don't add "pretending to read classical Arabic" to your crimes.

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  50. Are you really so dense that you think I would pretend to read Arabic the way you pretend to read Hebrew and Greek. Perish the thought. The text I'm referring to is the Bible (but you can't read that accurately either even in English).

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  51. It's your blog. feel free to harmonise away. My point is that I can predict where this will go, probably what you will say, and that you would never change position on anything.

    I think that Ryan illustrated the point by showing that you don't even entertain a doubt. Philosophically and epistemologically speaking that puts you in a terrible position. Rational skepticism seems to be something you uphonld for EVERYTHING ELSE in your intellectual life, and yet you special plead the bible. You can wax lyrical Peleg and Pangaea as if it is some plausible thesis (it isn't since it defies known science) and then claim absolute confidence in the inerrancy of a human written book. I have shown that Mark simply does not know his Geography and is corrected by Matthew and Luke for which you will have the usual answers. Those answers are weak. There never would have been a herd of 2000 swine - utterly improbable in those days. Gerasenes was changed to Gadarenes by Matthew and yet you will find some contorted gerrymandering which serves to quell any issue. Why you think htese writers, out of all the writers in the world, are the only ones impervious to mistakes when you don't even know who they were is beyond me.

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  52. Without God, of course it is beyond you. What I can't understand is the hubris you live with, realizing that people have been believing the Bible for over 2000 years and yet thinking that people have not wrestled with the same parts that bother you. Why would you assume that believer have just ignored rationality and chosen believe things that are contrary to truth - just because you don't understand it? I don't thin k that the answers are weak at all and I think its sad that you are unwilling to defend such a bad bald assertion.

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  53. Living with fear of death or social ostracisation for 2000 years for thinking otherwise...

    2000 years to align evidence with faith.

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  54. Living with fear of death or social ostracisation for 2000 years for thinking otherwise...

    If you think that is what being a Christian is about...you are doing it wrong. I understand the confusion given the abuses that have been undeniable but that is confusing what the Bible is with what people have said and done. That isn't rational.

    2000 years to align evidence with faith.

    Careful...that sounds almost like you are admitting that there is evidence you are ignoring because you have not shown how it does not line up with the Bible.

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  55. Its amazing (and sad) how you will miscontrue something just to be able to make a wothless rhetorical "gotcha" statement.

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    1. All you seem to know how to do is misconstrue.

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  56. "Living with fear of death or social ostracisation for 2000 years for thinking otherwise...

    If you think that is what being a Christian is about...you are doing it wrong."

    It has been the reality of Christian society throughout the centuries.

    " just because you don't understand it? I don't thin k that the answers are weak at all and I think its sad that you are unwilling to defend such a bad bald assertion."

    I understand fine. I disagree.

    I will humour you.

    Mark 5:
    They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes. 2 When He got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him,

    Matt 8:
    When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way.

    Luke 8:
    Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons;

    Now the standard reply is that they are two towns in the same general region so there is no contradiction. However, this is silly. The contradiction is plain. All accounts use the time connective 'when' which implies in all cases immediacy. When this happened, this happened. Thus, no traveling can be done. Looking at any map, the use of Gerasa is nonsensical (at least 12 miles from Gadara - ie further from the lake) - it is inland and too far for the sense to be made. Here is the hilariously bad bad harmonisation from Barne's noted on the bible:

    "Country of the Gergesenes - Mark Mar 5:1 says that he came into the country of the "Gadarenes." This difference is only apparent.

    "Gadara" was a city not far from the Lake Gennesareth, one of the ten cities that were called "Decapolis." See the notes at Matthew 4:25. "Gergesa" was a city about 12 miles to the southeast of Gadara, and about 20 miles to the east of the Jordan. There is no contradiction, therefore, in the evangelists. He came into the region in which the two cities were situated, and one evangelist mentioned one, and the other another. It shows that the writers had not agreed to impose on the world; for if they had, they would have mentioned the same city; and it shows. also, they were familiar with the country. No men would have written in this manner but those who were acquainted with the facts. Impostors do not mention places or homes if they can avoid it."

    So bad it's funny.

    Then there is the problem that Matthew clearly states two demons, not one.

    You will have an answer, no doubt. It's just that to think it is plausible takes some wild gerrymandering.

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  57. Oh, and don't even bother giving me JP Holding's defence. It's so shit it's NOT funny.

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  58. http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/biblical-contradictions-and-christian.html

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