This is audio of Bertrand Russell’s Lecture to the National Secular Society’s South London Branch at the Battersea Town Hall on March 6, 1927.
While one of the more intellectual responses I have seen to Dawkins, McGrath’s points are ultimately utilitarian – ie: Having faith that God exists assists people to make sense of the world, therefore he exists.
A 15 Part series, videos are relatively short ~5 Minutes.
Kenneth R Miller is both a Christian, and a Cell Biologist and Molecular Biologist; after a lecture at Spencer Honors House, he was asked a question regarding the today’s literal interpretations of the Bible.
No one debates quite as well as an Oxford professor. And so today we feature two Oxford profs – atheist biologist Richard Dawkins and Christian mathematician John Lennox – debating God and science in … of all places … Birmingham, Alabama. The debate turns largely on a question raised in Dawkins’ 2006 bestseller, The God Delusion: To what extent can religious belief and serious scientific discovery go hand-in-hand? The debate is lively, and the thought serious. A good way to spend 90+ minutes. And Brazilian readers, you’re in luck. You get subtitles. If you would like to purchase a copy of the debate, you can buy it through the Fixed Point Foundation, the Christian organization that organized the event. You can also watch a version of the debate on the Fixed Point web site here.
This morning featured a very unproductive “discussion” with both a Christian and Muslim this morning regarding the evidence of a Yahweh-based God, in which it ultimately ended in a stonewall against logic and reason, a denial of science-based evidence only when it comes to “God”, and the staunch view that focused two main statements – And I quote:
“We’re better than you because you’re an Atheist”
“You should read more of the Bible, you don’t know what you’re talking about!”
Both sentiments were specifically from the mouth of the “Atheists don’t have Morals” Christian, where as the Muslim was – until interrupted by the Christian, open to discussing the topic civilly, albeit with liberal use of erroneous logic and reasoning.
I reasonably suggested and advised said Christian that the Bible was written by Men, open to corruption by Men, and contained a number of passages that, if he wanted to pursue the “The bible is infallible” argument, are contradicting and was of questionable content. Pointing out, that if The Holy Bible were divinely inspired by God, there would be no mistakes. As there are clearly contradictions, it must be acknowledged that his would be attributed to Man’s “tinkering”, But then — on what basis can one investigate the legitimacy of each claim? How does one know what is “divinely inspired” and what isn’t?
I brought to his attention that Deuteronomy 25:11-12 stated along the lines of:
If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.
I suggest that he surely he didn’t believe that was appropriate! But what could he believe? Was this God saying he must cut off a womans’ hand? Or was it Man? How did he know the difference? To no surprise, he ignored the question and said “Atheists are why we have wars in the world today. The Bible Predicted it! It’s all happening as it says in The Bible! It’s a Fact!”
Hey, who was I to argue with such strident and unsupported remarks about confirmation bias and the horrendously poor method of “The Bible Code”. Oh wait! A Skeptic! However, a True Believer is not interested in stupid things like “Reason” or “Logic”, rather they are only interested in information that supports their worldview.
I moved on and asked what about raped virgins? Does he believe that the Bible should be followed in accordance with Deuteronomy 22:28-29?
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
Not surprisingly he no answer to the question and simply offered more rhetoric that atheists have no moral compass and “you don’t know what you’re talking about!”
I then asked how, if the Bible is infallible, that three separate accounts of the same event – the birth of Jesus Christ, could be so horribly misaligned.
Again, no answer.
Instead, he went on a tangent and insisted that Democracy was the work of the Christians; he was very adamant that this was a “fact”. I’d be interested to know what sources he wants to cite to support this claim, given that the notion is factually incorrect – Alas, none were offered. It should be noted that democracy was suggested to have existed in non-literate tribal societies – long before Christianity.
Why politics was brought up, I’m not quite sure, but it seemed like he felt he was making a logical point about something – though it did not make any sense as to what exactly that point was.
This actually reminds me of an excellent 2-hour video featuring Harris and Craig:
So, rather than take a page out of the close-minded Christian who denies evidence and refuses to use logic and reason as a means to argue his case effectively, I will look more at the Bible, and just what things are advocated in this “Holy” book of violence, slavery, sexism, and historical inaccuracies.
First of, in Deuteronomy 2:7, 8:2, 29:5 – It took the Israelites 40 years to travel from Egypt to Canaan, yet such a journey, even at that time, would have taken no more than a few weeks.
Secondly, in Deuteronomy 18:10-12, it is quite clear on occult practices. Yet, this doesn’t stop MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY people claiming to have seen OMENS from “God”, or who render the services of a someone who “consults the dead”!
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; because of these same detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.
A couple of run-through quotes.
Stone Rapists – Oh, and the victim, even she was too scared to scream:
If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.
Sexism in the bible:
I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.
1 Timothy 2:12
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
Yahweh Instructed Genocide:
This is what the Lord Almighty says… ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’
1 Samuel 15:3
Witchhunting – yet many Christians choose not to follow this apart of the Bible. Selective much?
Do not allow a sorceress to live.
Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us – he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.
The Ill-treatment of women:
So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Get up; let’s go.’ But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.”
Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.
1 Peter 2:18
And, finally we have an interesting act of rape and violence, and of justice being sought in Genesis:34
- A girl gets raped. (Not good.)
- But, the rapist loves her. (He’s still a rapist.)
- The Rapists’ father tries to smooth things over with a mass wedding to merge the two tribes. (Not the logical thing to do)
- The girl’s father lies to get all the males in the rapists’ tribe to cut off their foreskin. (To set them up)
- While the males are sore, the girl’s brothers slaughter every male and raid their stuff and their daughters. (There’s the revenge)
- And the brothers’ sum it up basically telling their father “Ain’t no body gonna treat our sister like a ho!”