Thoughtful Atheism






Uh oh

wouldn’t that be awkward

Can I get some credible sources?

Here’s one

and another

and one more for the road



On any social media website there is no shortage of sensational science headlines, old, recycled urban myths and rumors and flat out lies being spread around without any questions or critical thought from the people perpetuating them.

Today we have more information at our fingertips…



"But science is just theories!"


"There’s no proof Global Warming is a man-made. The climate has changed naturally in the past!"


"I refuse to vaccinate my children. Vaccines cause autism/contain toxic ingredients, etc."


"If humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes?"


"The Earth is only 4,000 years old. It says so in the bible!"


"The Moon landings were faked!"




Vile photos show the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border no one is talking about

With a spate of huge stories breaking in the past few weeks, you might not have caught the massive environmental crisis in northern Mexico that began earlier in August.

According to the Associated Press, local politicians claim that Grupo Mexico, a private mining company in Sonora with a troubling track record of hazardous waste violations in Mexico and the U.S., was slow to report a disastrous fault in its leaching ponds, which hold industrial acid used in the mining process. The spill released around 10 million gallons of acid into the Bacanuchi and Sonora Rivers.

20,000 people were without water | Follow micdotcom 

whaaat the FUUUCK



World’s languages traced back to single African mother tongue: scientists.

New Zealand researchers have traced every human language — from English to Mandarin — back to an ancestral language spoken in Africa 50,000 to 70,000 years ago.

Scientists say they have traced the world’s 6,000 modern languages — from English to Mandarin — back to a single “mother tongue,” an ancestral language spoken in Africa 50,000 to 70,000 years ago.

New research, published in the journal Science, suggests this single ancient language resulted in human civilization — a Diaspora — as well as advances in art and hunting tool technology, and laid the groundwork for all the world’s cultures.

The research, by Quentin Atkinson from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, also found that speech evolved far earlier than previously thought. And the findings implied, though did not prove, that modern language originated only once, an issue of controversy among linguists, according to the New York Times.

Before Atkinson came up with the evidence for a single African origin of language, some scientists had argued that language evolved independently in different parts of the world.

Atkinson found that the first populations migrating from Africa laid the groundwork for all the world’s cultures by taking their single language with them. “It was the catalyst that spurred the human expansion that we all are a product of,” Atkinson said, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Atkinson traced the number distinct sounds, or phonemes — consonants, vowels and tones — in 504 world languages, finding compelling evidence that they can be traced back to a long-forgotten dialect spoken by our Stone Age ancestors, according to the Daily Mail.

Atkinson also hypothesized that languages with the most sounds would be the oldest, while those spoken by smaller breakaway groups would utilize fewer sounds as variation and complexity diminished.

The study found that some of the click-using languages of Africa have more than 100 phonemes, or sounds, whereas Hawaiian, toward the far end of the human migration route out of Africa, has only 13, the Times reported. English has about 45 phonemes.

The phoneme pattern mirrors the pattern of human genetic diversity as humans spread across the globe from sub-Saharan Africa around 70,000 years ago.


(Source: nok-ind)

Five Good Reasons to Promote Atheism


The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses five good reasons to promote atheism:

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A local Christian Church, Mountaintop Ministries (Also known as The End Timers) are hosting some sort of concert in the coming weeks and as such have dispersed their finest and youngest ministers to spread the word of their lord in preparation for the event.

I can not even begin to count the number of allegorical personal spiritual “testimonies” I’ve overheard over the course of the day, and I’ve been in Starbucks all day.

Brings back memories of my own missionary days.

Aug 7

Two Questions About Bible Translations


kjv only 3

A month or so ago, I asked readers to submit questions they would like me to answer. If you have not yet submitted yours, I encourage you to do so.

Joyce asked:

Biblical scholarship: When I was growing up in my big-city Mennonite church, this was a big deal. There were always scholars proving things by finding new ancient texts that supported the Bible. But now as an adult who has studied the ancient world at university (history, philosophy, science, literature, linguistics), and read Bart Ehrman, and been involved with non-evangelical Christians (including Anglicans, United Church, and lots of Catholicism), I see that what I was taught doesn’t line up. How did ministers like you, Ehrman, and Dan Barker see this “evidence” and shed your faiths, and others see it and think it makes sense? Do most people who seriously study the beginnings of Christianity develop serious doubts? I was always taught that our form of Bible-based Christianity was the closest they could get to “original Christianity” but now that I know more, I know better. How does one seriously study that time period and walk away a Christian? What do these tenacious Christians think when they are presented with the reality of how we came to get the books of the Bible*, or the doctrine of the trinity, or a pile of other basic Christian basics that were decided 200 or 300 years after the life of Christ? (And decided by … Catholics!!! O the horror).

Evangelical Christians begin with two presuppositions:

  • The Christian God, as revealed in the Bible, nature, and conscience, is the one, true creator God
  • This one, true creator God gave us the Bible, the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God

Evangelicals don’t come to the Bible just like they would any other text. It is THE text above all other texts, a divine, supernatural text given to sinful humanity by the one, true creator God. Thus, every word in the Bible is true because it came from God. (and God is perfect in all his ways)

When confronted with conflicts, contradictions, mistakes, errors, etc, the Evangelical either tries to reconcile/harmonize the text, explain it away, or appeals to a lack of understanding. At no time is the text, and by extension God, ever wrong.

Even in Evangelical colleges and seminaries where the historical-critical method is taught, Christians come up with elaborate ways to hang on to the doctrines of inspiration and inerrancy.  They know that no translation is inspired or inerrant, so they say things like the Bible is inerrant in the original manuscripts. What originals? There are thousands of extant manuscripts, differing with each other in thousands of places. But, original manuscripts? As mythical as a pink unicorn. At best, the extant manuscripts give us an approximation of what the original manuscripts might have said.

There is an increasing number of Evangelical pastors that no longer believe in inerrancy. During their college/seminary training they were exposed to the truth about the history and construction of the Biblical text. They know far more than they tell their congregations. Rather than being honest with their parishioners, they preach the party line, that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. Their job security and the advancement of their mission requires that church members believe they hold in their hands the Word of God.

For people like Bart Ehrman, Dan Barker, John Loftus, and me, looking at the history surrounding the text of the Bible forced us to admit that what we were taught in church, college, and seminary was an admixture of fact and bullshit. In my case, it was 99% bullshit. Once we started having questions and doubts, our investigation of the Bible pushed us into corners of the Christian world we never knew existed. (or we knew they existed but we considered them liberal, apostate, etc) Like the genealogies in Genesis, question begat question, doubt begat doubt, and the result is that all of us left Christianity.

As I have stated many times before, any Evangelical that honestly looks at the history of the Christian church and the Bible will be forced to abandon the belief that the Bible is an inspired, inerrant text. They may, for whatever reason, remain a Christian, but they will have to let go of the notion that the Bible is a supernatural text.

I have had a couple of Evangelicals tells me that they did look at the history of the Christian church and the Bible, read Bart Ehrman’s books, etc and they are still unpersuaded. I suspect that they have found an innovative way to live with cognitive dissonance.

king james only

Joyce asked:

I grew up in the 70s and my family was tickled with the Living Bible. In the 80s it was all about the NIV. I know literary types love the KJV, but most KJV-loving fundies are not exactly the Shakespearean crowd, or conversant with literary merit (spoken as an English lit major who pulls her hair out when reading Xtian reviews of books and movies, whether classic or contemporary. How many times can I scream “you totally missed the point!”?). With the crowd that fetishizes the KJV, … why? Do they not realize the historical context of that version? Because if they did, why would they think the KJV was the one true Bible? It makes no sense. And as an aside that makes me laugh at them, do they know that it’s widely believed by historians the King James was a homosexual? (Really, I think this should be publicized more just to make them squirm. But I’m devilish like that).

Those who are King James Only believe that the sixty-six books of the Bible, originally written by men as they were moved (directed) by the Holy Ghost, are inspired and inerrant. They believe that God promised to preserve his pure Word down through history, and the King James Bible is THAT pure Word for English-speaking people. This position requires a tremendous amount of intellectual, historical,and textual gymnastics. It is an intellectually untenable position.

Jack Chick writes:

Are the Scriptures just the “ideas” of God, or are they the very WORDS of God? You decide!

God promises to preserve His words. The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalms 12:6-7)

You shall not add or take away, says God. Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.  (Deuteronomy 4:1-2)

God cares about every one of His words. Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

God’s words will never pass away. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (Jesus Christ, Son of God) (Mark 13:31)

God will curse those who change His Word. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)

This doesn’t sound like God inspired only the “concepts” in Scripture. He clearly directed every word and will not tolerate man’s meddling with it. He calls them “His Words.”

If your Bible is a King James Bible, it preserves God’s words because it was translated using “formal equivalence.” All other Bibles were translated using “dynamic equivalence,” in which the translator is free to change words as long as he conveys the “idea.”

Some King James Only adherents take on the air of scholarship by saying that, yes the KJV is just a translation, but the underlying manuscripts, the Textus Receptus (Received Text) /Majority Text, is the correct Greek text for the New Testament.

I was talking today with my counselor about this very issue.  Here’s how I explained it to him. There are two manuscript lines, the Alexandrian text line and the Antiochian text line.  Egypt, where Alexandria is, is a type of the world. The Israelites, God’s chosen people, fled Egypt for the Promised Land. You with me so far?

The Bible says in Acts 11:26:…And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. So…there ya have it. The Alexandrian text line came from Egypt/world and the Antiochian text line came from Antioch where they were first called Christians. Almost every new translation after the KJV used the Alexandrian text line (AKA Westcott-Hort text) and this is seen as proof that these Bibles are corrupt.

The KJV becomes the gold standard for judging the correctness of a translation. If the ESV or the NIV uses a different word than the KJV, then that means the ESV/NIV is corrupt. Same goes for the Greek manuscripts. The Textus Receptus is the standard by which all other Greek manuscripts are judged.

This kind of thinking requires all sorts of smoke and mirrors. All KJV only adherents are fundamentalists, and I think what drives their thinking is the need for purity and certainty.

I am just brushing the surface of the complexities and contradictions of the KJV-only position. If there are other questions related to this subject, I would be glad to answer them.

king james only

Aug 5

What I Learned about Atheists from God’s Not Dead

In the end the central injustice of this movie is its failure to fairly represent a class of people whom Christians purport to love.  But it’s not loving people well to misrepresent them this badly.  This movie caricatures, dehumanizes, and depersonalizes people like me, portraying us in the worst possible light.  How could I not find this movie disgustingly offensive?  Every single atheist in this film is a spineless, uncaring jerk.  This is how you love someone like me?  You made atheists the bad guys!  And not even complex bad guys.  You made us two-dimensional cartoon villains who rub our hands together menacingly, tweaking our pencil-thin moustaches above our sinister grins.  Children should be afraid to come near us.  Employers should think twice before hiring us. And clearly women should steer clear of dating us because obviously we lack hearts.

Aug 3

The Sweet Sound of a Deflated Ego



I see now that you’d take all the time in the world to try and dissuade me from believing in God. But the truth is, you can’t. And I can’t change your beliefs. So let’s just end this here. I’ll continue to pray for you and other atheists because that’s what I do. I believe in God and you believe in no God. It’s as simple as that. Just know you weren’t made into this earth by chance; you were created by God, and He made you for a purpose—not to disprove His existence, but to show others that He is real. Can you just do one thing for me? And it doesn’t even have to be for me; it could be for your parents, your friends, or whoever. Go to church. Just once. Listen to what the pastor has to say, and if you feel the need, talk to him. You don’t have to. I’m just asking you to try. Thank you and God bless :)

Love to see that your ego is deflated. In any case, I did that one thing for you many times over. I’m a former Christian. I’ve been to Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Adventist, and Pentecostal churches. I’ve met charismatics, cessationists, and even Unitarians (not to be confused with Universalists; unlike Trinitarians, Unitarians believe god is one and thus don’t believe in the Trinity). I taught children; I taught youth; I preached on pulpits and in public. Praying for me or in other words, talking to yourself, won’t help. My reasons for non-belief in Christianity and its god are firm. Given your response, though you’re too obstinate to consider the possibility that you’re wrong, your beliefs are flimsy. Ignoring the facts doesn’t change them; avoiding the truth doesn’t make it false. Your god simply doesn’t exist; your religion is false; your savior doesn’t live. It’s quite simple. And I know it’s hard for you to imagine life without your beliefs, but speaking from experience, it’s doable. Lastly, I wasn’t attempting to dissuade you; I was simply informing you. Whether or not you want to be informed isn’t my problem.