The Good Father: Reason why the Christian God would be an Awful Parent

I often hear religious people describe the God they worship as a Father.  This imagery comes up especially often in my conversations with Christian friends, family members and acquaintances.  I have always found the implication of so many grown adults feeling the need to have an all-powerful father figure watching over them to be unsettling to say the least.  The term “daddy issues” hardly begins to cover it.  That said I reject the notion that the Christian God exists, but if he did exist he would certainly be anything but a good father.  Here are my reasons for holding this view:

1.  A good father eventually let’s his offspring get on with their lives.

My father, early on recognized that I needed to be free to make some of my own mistakes, and to often find things out for myself.  He also recognized the need in me to be my own independent person, and to think for myself, rather than exist for his gratification or amusement.  He was not the type to pressure me to follow in his footsteps, take up the family business or some career path he had predetermined for me.  The Christian God, on the other hand, demands complete and utter submission to his authority.   He demands we live entirely for him.  He insists that everything has to be about him, and that we exist only for his self-glorification.  This is the height of authoritarianism.

2.  A God father, enjoys an occasional compliment, and some appreciation, but does not need his children to be his personal sycophants.

My father was always happy when I showed appreciation for everything he did for me and my siblings, but he never demanded it and it certainly never felt imposed upon us.  He would certainly have never demand we worship him, and if he did we would have suspected a horrific change had occurred in the state of his mental health.  The Christian God of course demands complete sycophancy, and continuous worship and praise.   What a fragile ego this being must have!  Demanding others constantly tell you how great you are or demanding they constantly submit to your power or authority is a sign of tyranny poor mental health.

3.  A good father knows love is to be earned.

Nothing could cheapen love more than making it compulsory.   Nothing cheapens anything more than making it compulsory.  The Christian God requires his followers to love him and threatens to have them tortured forever if they don’t.    This is not love, it is insanity!!  To make matters worse the Christian God hides himself, to the extent that there is strong reason to doubt his existence.  What would we think of a father who moves away from his children at a young age and never has direct contact with them, but still expects them to love him?  What if his only communication with them was in the form of folkloric stories, written in other people’s handwriting?  The parallels between this situation and the God Christians worship should be obvious.

4.  A good father does not use rewards or punishment, as his primary means interaction with his children.

Instead he leads by example and illustrates the benefits of making wise decisions and being good to other people.  Ruling through fear teaches that things are only wrong if you get caught, and rewarding good behavior is little more than a form of bribery.  Of course the Christian god operates imposes his rule on his subjects largely through threats of eternal torture or the bribe of a heavenly blissful existence after we die.  Indeed these are the primary reasons most Christians I talk to give for why I should share their beliefs.

5.  A good father does not subject his children to torture.

If any earthly father subjected his son or daughter to torture, for not loving him or doubting his existence, he would be arrested and viewed as some sort of deranged maniac.  This, of course is exactly what the Christian God does, only worse because the torture the Christian God imposes on his subjects is eternal.

I could go on, but most of our readers should get the idea.  Unlike the largely positive and rather libertarian upbringing I had, the Christian God is a heinous totalitarian, who demands complete and utter submission, sycophancy and compulsory love at the threat of eternal torture.  His household would be considered abusive and highly dysfunctional by any sane standards.  I’m happy that there is no evidence that such a being exists.

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36 Responses to The Good Father: Reason why the Christian God would be an Awful Parent

  1. In response to each point:

    1. God created man with free will. Thus we are free to follow the way of life He has revealed to us, or not.

    In fact, God is the good father that you describe. He has left us to live life our own way even if that way brings great evil.

    2. It is human nature to take pleasure in the gifts that God so generously provides. Religion presents man with the means to express gratitude and to live virtuously.

    Since God is infinite and uncreated He has no needs.

    3. The statement made here is in error because it contradicts the statement in item #1.

    Since man has free will he loves God freely completely free of compulsion.

    God’s commandments are the operating principles of healthy human behavior.

    Mankind is no more compelled to follow God’s commandments than he is the law of gravity.

    Man rightfully avoids jumping off of cliffs for his own good. Likewise men follow God’s commandments for their own good.

    4. Both Moses and Jesus led by example. Those two men are the founders of Judeo-Christianity.

    5. God subjects his people to happiness. It is man who subjects himself to torture by doing evil.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If the beholder is ugly inside, ugliness is how the beholder will see beauty.

    God is ultimate beauty.

    • Mr. Wilson says:

      Wow where to begin? There is so much here to object to.

      1. You assert:
      “Since man has free will he loves God freely completely free of compulsion.”

      This is nonsense. If we are to believe most versions of Christianity, we are commanded to love God and face the threat of being tortured forever if we do not. This is the definition of compulsory. We do not say that taxation is free of compulsion because, we have free will and the government gives us the choice of paying our taxes or going to prison. No, we recognize that the government is using force and the threat of force to make us pay our taxes in the same way this supposed God figure is using the threat of eternal punishment to demand our complete and total submission to his authority.

      2. You assert:
      “Mankind is no more compelled to follow God’s commandments than he is the law of gravity.”

      The is nonsense. You believe we have free will, which gives us the CHOICE of not following any commandments we choose. Gravity on the other hand is NOT subject to our choice. It is physically impossible for us not to obey the law of gravity.

      3. You assert:
      “God’s commandments are the operating principles of healthy human behavior.”

      I vehemently disagree. In the bible God commands, we stone unruly children to death, execute people who work on Saturdays, Practice animal sacrifice, and force women to marry rapists. The new testament is not much better: It commands slaves not resist the authority of their masters, and it says: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.” This is horrible advice, and completely contrary to healthy living. Furthermore it seems to be the source of many highly unhealthy puritanical attitudes towards sexuality. I’ll go further and say it’s attitude that we should live in fear and submit ourselves fully and entirely to an authority figure strikes me as one of the most horrifying and unhealthy attitudes humans can take.

      4. You say: “God subjects his people to happiness. It is man who subjects himself to torture by doing evil.”
      I say bullshit. God created the place of eternal torture and determined what set of criteria would result in them getting eternal torture, and they have nothing to do with evil as, the term is commonly understood, and everything to do with your willingness to submit to an authority. One can be a loving, caring friend and family member to all in his life, but if has the wrong religious beliefs (or lack there of) you declare him evil and claim that he deserves to be tortured for it. It beliefs such as these that are truly evil.

      • Mr. Wilson,

        The last time I checked, God had left atheists in charge of the Thought Police.

        If I slip into the back door of your abode and screw your wife, God won’t do a damned thing.

        It’s up to you to defend your wife’s honor.

        But since you think God is going to do something to me, I think I’ll be coming back for seconds…

        …and thirds.

        ….geez. I don’t think your wife can get enough of me.

      • Mr. Wilson,

        Are you not free to take any flying leap of your own choosing?

        That’s free will in the face of the law of gravity.

        You are completely free to take whatever flying leap you choose but you must suffer the consequences.

        It is the same with God’s Divine Law.

        We are free to follow it or not. But we must suffer the consequences of not following it.

        God applies no force or obligation whatsoever.

        That’s why you are an eeeevil atheist and I am one of the good guys.

  2. Annie Marks says:

    Equating God’s “Divine Law” to gravity is very extreme and I believe is proving Mr. Wilson’s point. Not all actions have dramatic, terrible consequences, and saying that we’re free to take our own leaps knowing the consequences (here being God’s punishment) reinforces the fact that God sticks to the reward-and-punish system described above. It seems like you’re trying too hard and going in circles. Mr. Wilson, excellent post. I agree wholeheartedly.

    • Mr. Wilson says:

      Thanks, Annie positive feedback is always welcomed.

      In response to silenceofmind:

      You say: “The last time I checked, God had left atheists in charge of the Thought Police.”

      What are you talking about? What thought police, who are they and what can they convict me of, and why would God leave atheists in charge of them?

      It seems like a strange thing to say from someone who worships a God who actually can convict someone of thought crime.

      You say: “If I slip into the back door of your abode and screw your wife…”

      I’m sorry, but I do not understand what you are arguing here or how it relates to anything else discussed here. I was thinking adultery included in the sins that God created hell to punish. Feel free to clarify.

      In response to the second of your most recent post:

      Taking leaps does not violate the law of gravity, just to be clear on this. Neither does flying in planes or floating in balloons. So the analogy is problematic since one can violate religious dictates.

      Your analogy would make some since, if God had nothing to do with metaphorical cliff sides and canyons that one might fall into but alas you think he does.

      A more fitting analogy would be one where God has put us each on top of a high building and told us we have must leap (as staying on the building forever is not an option). He has created the situation such that we can either leap into a fire where we will burned and tortured forever or onto territory he controls where we have no choice but complete and utter submission to his authority and are expected to love him for it.

      Putting someone in this position would be considered coercive by all standards. If a worldly dictator stuck people with the choice of facing torture or becoming his slaves we would all recognize him as a monster, and rightly so. Why should a God be any different?

      • Mr. Wilson,

        The atheist Thought Police is actually judge and jury too. You have tried, convicted and judged God on the usual atheist hallucinations of alternative realities.

        Atheists ALWAYS rig the argument by hallucinating a complete bunch of fiction and then assigning it to the opposition.

        The opposition is left trying to deal with a collection of hallucinations which is ALWAYS a losing proposition.

        Please exit your hallucination and see reality.

        If God is imaginary you are free to disregard Him.

        If God is real you are free to disregard Him.

        Your claim that God is a dictator is an example of an atheist hallucination.

        Human beings come and go as they please.

        That’s the way God wants it, which makes Him an advocate of liberty.

    • Annie,

      If man followed God’s commandments there would be paradise of Earth.

      Look around. The world is a complete mess.

      That is the result of millions and billions of individuals breaking God’s commandments.

      • Annie Marks says:

        Where in the Bible does it say that the world would be paradise if everyone followed God’s commandments? The world is a mess because of the Original Sin, because of Adam and Eve. Heaven is paradise, that’s what everyone’s trying to get to. That’s the whole point. Please don’t let your imagination run away with you.

      • Annie,

        Gosh, I think it starts right at the very beginning with God creating man and woman in a paradise called the Garden of Eden.

        And it ends with Jesus commanding His disciples to go out and convert the world to Christianity thus bringing world peace.

        Atheists ALWAYS have trouble seeing the obvious.

      • Annie Marks says:

        Remember when Satan deceived Eve and the world was thrust into sin? Christians ALWAYS use bits and pieces of the Bible out of context to “prove a point.”

      • Annie,

        What part of the Bible have I used and taken out of context?

        I think this is another example of a never ending atheist hallucination.

      • Annie Marks says:

        I’d like to just briefly point out that you’re only assuming I’m an atheist.

      • Annie,

        If it walks and quacks like an atheist, it’s an atheist.

        Postmodernism also includes some types of Christians. Like the ones who think the universe was created in six, 24 hour days.

        That type of Christian is exactly like an atheist in that they hallucinate their own meaning to the Bible and then derive total nonsense from it.

      • Annie Marks says:

        I find it disturbing that your mind is so closed to any outside opinion that you accuse others of things you’re doing to yourself. By the way, the word you’re looking for isn’t hallucinate. You would call it a delusion. Maybe put down the Bible and open a dictionary.

        Hugs and kisses sent from Hell
        -Annie Marks, Devil’s Handmaiden

  3. Mr. Wilson says:

    In Response to silenceofmind:

    You say: “You have tried, convicted and judged God on the usual atheist hallucinations of alternative realities.”

    I would say I have judge your God by the way the bible presents him and by the descriptions of him offered by most Christians. I find descriptions of him presented by both sources to be problematic and have been straight forward about this.

    You say: “Atheists ALWAYS rig the argument by hallucinating a complete bunch of fiction and then assigning it to the opposition.”

    Please be specific: what fictions or hallucinations did I assign to your position?

    You say: “If God is real you are free to disregard Him.” This only true in the since that I am free to disregard the government’s request for me to pay my taxes. If I disregard paying my taxes eventually armed agents of the Government will imprisonment in a prison the government created, in the same way that if I disregard the Christian God, I will be sentenced by this God to torture in a hell this God created (or so Christians tell me).

    You say:
    “God is a dictator is an example of an atheist hallucination.”
    No it is not it is a perfectly reasonable conclusion about this God based on the description of him Christians provide. Any being that demands complete and total submission at the threat of torture and has the power to deliver on that threat is dictator, a tyrant or a thug, as the terms are constantly used. I will even go farther as to say that the Christian God is worse that earthly dictators since, no dictator alive could torture me forever for disobeying him. You must recognize the totalitarian and authoritarian implications of your belief system.

    You say: “That’s the way God wants it, which makes Him an advocate of liberty. ”
    No! Advocate of liberty would say obey me or tortured for ever. This very statement shows you have a warped and twisted notion of what liberty is.

    You say: “If man followed God’s commandments there would be paradise of Earth.”

    I dispute this. A world where we kill unruly children, homosexuals and people who work on the sabbath, as the bible commands. Nor would a world populated by pious authoritarians groveling at some perceived authority figure be. Also a world where we make animal sacrifices and recognize the rights of slave owners, and make no plans for the future would be awful. This is not to mention all my American friends who outright reject the notion that a world that forbids bacon would be a paradise.

    • Mr. Wilson,

      All written material is subject to interpretation.

      So an atheist who attempts to interpret the Bible is making a complete fool of himself.

      The original intent of any written material is reserved for its authors.

      Since we live in the New Dark Age of Stupid, atheists can get away with their folly because their are more of you than there are of us.

      • Mr. Wilson says:

        I take what the authors of the bible write at face value and in the context of what is written elsewhere in the book, as I am sure you do. If the original intent is reserved for it’s authors, than how can you know your understanding of their intent is accurate? Or more accurate than mine? Can you actually name an instance where we might interpret the same passage differently?

        You say: “their are more of you than there are of us.”

        What do you mean by this? There are far more Christians in the world and the U.S. than atheists.

      • Mr. Wilson,

        It took centuries for both the Jews and the Christians to settle on the meaning of their faith.

        That process is called exegesis.

        Christian doctrine, that is, the meaning of Christ’s teachings was unchanged for 1500 years until an emotionally disturbed Catholic priest (Martin Luther) took it upon himself to redefined Christianity.

        Protestants are intellectual and philosophical brethren to atheists because personal bias rules how they think and how they define things.

        Unless there exists an objective source of meaning, reality or truth can mean anything we want it to mean, at any time we want it to mean what we need it to mean.

        That is why I refer to the atheist interpretation of the Bible as a hallucination.

        Atheists aren’t interested in what the Bible really means, they assign meaning to it as needed.

        For atheists are interested in justifying and furthering their own worldview just like any other religion.

        So like the Protestants whose faith is only justifiable based on hatred for the Catholic Church, atheists heap scorn on religion in general and God in particular.

        And the perfect tactic of scorn is to hallucinate the Bible into an insane comic book and go to town demonizing it.

    • Mr. Wilson,

      You are basing your disagreement with me on an atheist hallucination.

      The meaning of the Bible is, love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

      If every human being followed that then there would be world peace.

      The Bible also sets out a complete set of ethics, the best mankind has ever had, and a worldview that prepares man for life in a huge universe.

      All atheism does is take mankind back to the brutal prehistoric past when personal bias ruled the day, thus making human life, short, brutal and worthless.

      • Mr. Wilson says:

        You say: “It It took centuries for both the Jews and the Christians to settle on the meaning of their faith.”

        Why would such a long process be necessary if the meaning of the holy books, is clear and not subject to interpretation.

        “Christian doctrine, that is, the meaning of Christ’s teachings was unchanged for 1500 years until an emotionally disturbed Catholic priest (Martin Luther) took it upon himself to redefined Christianity”

        My understanding is that early Christianity was characterized by numerous different sects and factions with radically different interpretations on nearly every point of Christian Theology. The sect, that won out, Catholicism, did so by taking over the Roman state, and by silencing opposition. Christian doctrine remained unchanged for all those years, because the church was able to stifle any view points contradictory to it’s own.

        My understanding is that at least some of Martin Luther’s complaints are now recognized as legitimate by today’s Catholic hierarchy. For example they no longer sell indulgences to get out of purgatory (a practice that is never advocated in the bible) nor do they sell counterfeit relics as was apparently quite common in the middle ages.

        I will also this time when the church maintained ideological hegemony for so long, was not considered a good time. Dissenting speech was silent, Feudal monarchies with connections to the church were the dominant form of government, torture was used on alleged heretics. By all conventional standards are own time is much better.

        You say “Protestants are intellectual and philosophical brethren to atheists because personal bias rules how they think and how they define things.”

        This sounds like projection to me. You sound like an individual who is extremely biased.

        You say: “That is why I refer to the atheist interpretation of the Bible as a hallucination”

        I don’t think “hallucination” is the word you are looking for here. Perhaps, “deliberate misunderstanding” or “misinterpretation” is what you mean.

        You say: “Atheists aren’t interested in what the Bible really means, they assign meaning to it as needed.”

        This sounds a lot like projection, you seem just as happy to assign the meaning you want to the bible, to further your agenda, as anyone here. How can you demonstrate that your understanding of the bible is correct, and once again can you actually name an instance where the bible says something we both interpret differently.

        You say: “For atheists are interested in justifying and furthering their own worldview just like any other religion.”

        For most atheists I know this issue, is that people proclaiming the existence of God have not met their burden of proof. We don’t believe in Gods we so evidence for them, and people who assert the existence of Gods are not able to back their assertions up. Also atheism is no more a religion, than bald is a hair color.

        You say: “The meaning of the Bible is, love God and love your neighbor as yourself.”

        I disagree, the meaning of the bible is submit to God’s authority or be punished for it. True, positive messages of love in it, but this is not the main gist. And frankly worship me or burn forever is not a message of love.

        I’m not sure I agree, with the assertion that if every “human loved their neighbor there would be world piece”. For one, I question whether it is possible to love people you don’t know or barely know in any meaningful sense. But even saying it is we still have to deal with scarcity and irreconcilable differences which often do become the basis of conflict.

        That said, I do agree that a little more love in this world would be a good thing. Though I find people who claim to love God can often be as violent as anyone else.

        “The Bible also sets out a complete set of ethics, the best mankind has ever had, and a worldview that prepares man for life in a huge universe.”

        I have already addressed problems I have see with the bible’s system of ethics. You have yet to address my points regarding this so I will not repeat myself further.

        “All atheism does is take mankind back to the brutal prehistoric past when personal bias ruled the day, thus making human life, short, brutal and worthless.”

        I obviously disagree. Atheism frees us from brutal, primitive, authoritarian superstitions like your own. That said, atheism is simply a lack of belief in God, so more is needed to form a system of ethics and science to advance humanity.

      • Mr. Wilson,

        Saint Paul and the other Apostles were fighting heresy from the very first days of Christianity.

        The book of Acts tells of the Church’s first encounters with so-called reformers.

        The orthodox doctrine of Christianity descends from Jesus to the Apostles and then on to their handpicked helpers and successors.

        The Apostles made it very clear that no one could appoint themselves to a position of Church authority or make up doctrine out of the thin air of personal opinion.

        When Jesus established his Church on Peter, the rock (Matthew 16:13), the Church was transformed from a religious cult competing with Judaism, into a physical institution with a street address and managers with actual, knowable names.

        All other offshoots of Christianity did not and do not belong to the institutional Church either physically or doctrinally.

        They never have.

        Both Protestants and atheists spew propaganda indicating that the Church has been nothing but a bunch of factions from the very beginning.

        Protestants spew that sort of nonsense to cover the fact that the intrinsic disunity and factionalism that is fundamental to the nature of Protestantism spits in the face of Jesus and his adamant teachings on unity (See Saint Paul’s epistles and the Gospel of John).

        Atheists spew that sort of nonsense because Christian disunity proves that Christian truth is relative and therefore any truth claims are rubbish.

        Christianity went from a gutter religious cult to coin of the realm to the religion of Empire because of its immensely positive and stabilizing impact on the huge, culturally diverse population that inhabited the Roman Empire.

        Christianity (re: the Catholic Church) went on to power the rise of Western Civilization, the greatest, most advanced, most just and prosperous civilization in human history.

  4. M. Rodriguez says:

    God would be a horrible parent, and down right wicked.

    • A common logical fallacy used by atheists is to establish themselves as the ultimate authority on religion, philosophy, history and everything in general.

      And then during any discussion whenever an atheist says anything it is the absolute truth because the atheist is citing himself, the ultimate authority on every thing.

      The only way you can say that, “God would be a horrible parent, and down right wicked,” is because you have established yourself as the ultimate authority on God.

      How can you do that about something you don’t even believe in?

      • Mr. Wilson says:

        I don’t want to put words in Mr. Rodriguez’s mouth, but nothing in his comment said anything to indicate his statement was anything more than his opinion.

        You say: ” during any discussion whenever an atheist says anything it is the absolute truth because the atheist is citing himself, the ultimate authority on every thing.”

        I strongly disagree with this statement. From my experience atheists are more likely to recognize that any conclusion we come to is tentative and could be change in light of new evidence. Atheist tend to recognize that our understanding of the universe is not absolute truth because, we don’t know everything and much of what we know contains some degree of error and is subject to interpretation and new evidence.

        Your statement seems to be a form of projection: since you literally do believe your claims to be absolute truth, handed down from an ultimate authority.

        You say: “The only way you can say that, “God would be a horrible parent, and down right wicked,” is because you have established yourself as the ultimate authority on God.”

        This is bullshit! You don’t have to be the ultimate authority on a subject to have an opinion on it.

        You say: “How can you do that about something you don’t even believe in?”

        You also don’t have to think something is real to have an opinion on it. For example I have opinions about the various characters and plot devices in Star Trek, but that does not mean I think they are real, and I am anything but, the ultimate authority on them.

      • Mr. Wilson,

        You are indeed putting words into Mr. Rodriguez’ mouth.

        His statement is clearly expressed as a fact.

        If it was merely opinion, it would be customary to precede the statement with, “In my opinion…”

        The rest of your comment proves what I said previously about atheists: Everything they say is nothing but personal opinion.

        That means that to the atheist, truth is simply a matter of opinion. That is the same as saying truth does not exist.

        That means that to the atheist, reality is nothing but a momentary hallucination that changes according to the needs of the moment.

        Why should rational people give up their culture and civilization to that sort of madness?

  5. Mr. Wilson says:

    In response to silence of mind 2n’d of the most recent post (I may get to your longer post later):

    You say: “The rest of your comment proves what I said previously about atheists: Everything they say is nothing but personal opinion.”

    No, you are wrong on so many levels here, it is ridiculous.
    The most vast majority of atheists, happily acknowledge that there is in fact an external reality that is not subject to our whims, preferences ect.

    We also tend to recognize the importance of having positions about that reality that are backed by evidence. In fact, I find atheists tend to put a bigger emphasis on beliefs based on evidence than religious people usually do (Religious people people put a strong emphasis on faith).

    That said, my recognition that much of what we know is tentative and is subject to future evidence is not should not be confused with the notion that knowledge is merely opinion (as you seem to have done).

    For example there was a time in which Newtonian Physics seemed to explain all aspects of the interactions of matter and energy, and during this time one could honestly say “the best evidence supports, the idea that all known physical interactions can be explained in Newtonian terms). This statement would have been factually correct at the time, but it is no longer factually correct now since we have found evidence that suggest Newtonian Physics breaks down when looking at things that are extremely large or extremely small.

    Nothing about this implies that one should acceptance or rejection of the claims of Newtonian physics should be seen as a matter of opinion.

    Regarding M. Rodriguez’s post: M. Rodriguez used the terms “horrible” and “wicked” which as best I can tell are subject labels for things the person speaking dislikes, indicating that his statement was one of opinion, despite the fact he did not qualify it by saying “in my opinion.”

  6. Mr. Wilson says:

    In response to Silence of Mind’s longer post:

    You say “Saint Paul and the other Apostles were fighting heresy from the very first days of Christianity.”

    Yes, I know that,this is the churches official doctrine, but how do we know this is not a case of the victorious writing history in way that put’s them a favorable light? How do we know there is any truth to any of this?

    “The book of Acts tells of the Church’s first encounters with so-called reformers.”

    How do you know “Acts” is a reliable source of information about these events? I have heard very compelling cases that it is a work of propaganda and that it actually clashes with the writings attributed to Paul… Can you demonstrate it’s accuracy? Or the accuracy of any book in the bible?

    “Christianity went from a gutter religious cult to coin of the realm to the religion of Empire because of its immensely positive and stabilizing impact on the huge, culturally diverse population that inhabited the Roman Empire.”

    I have to question it’s alleged stabilizing impact, being that the empire collapsed within a few centuries of adopting this religion, and collapsed into a patchwork of waring feudal states.

    You say: “Christianity (re: the Catholic Church) went on to power the rise of Western Civilization, the greatest, most advanced, most just and prosperous civilization in human history.”

    I would say that western civilization (re: Catholic Church) got much it’s wealth and power from beating up on other civilizations, and taking their stuff. Furthermore, I would have to point that the period of history where the Catholic church dominated life, was an authoritarian one in which people were routinely tortured, feudal wars were common, women were burned as witches. I don’t want to go back to that.

    Anyone most of your responses ring of the winners writing history in their own favor. Could you please provide evidence to the contrary?

    • Mr. Wilson,

      The writings of Saint Paul are very heartfelt, sincere, personal letters that he wrote to his protégé, Timothy and others.

      And Saint Luke, like Saint Paul was very well educated. Saint Luke, in fact, set about his writings with the highest purposes in mind.

      Ancient writers weren’t like postmodernists. They were honest for the most part.

      Postmodernists are agenda-driven and couldn’t give a rat’s anal orifice about being honest or seeking truth.

      So it is not surprising that you would project what you are used to seeing in your life and time upon people from a totally different place and age.

      • Mr. Wilson says:

        Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding I am not a postmodernist, which should be very clear by most of my previous comments. Not that you have accused me of being a postmodernist, I just want to make it clear that I am no way part of that strain of thought.

        You say: “The writings of Saint Paul are very heartfelt, sincere, personal letters that he wrote to his protégé, Timothy and others.”

        How do you know? Very few if any of them read like personally letters, but rather as lengthy religious tracts. My understanding is that if Romans was indeed a letter it would be the lengthiest and most expensive letter in the history of the Roman world. Furthermore of the letters attributed to, the authenticity of many are up for debate with and 2 Thessalonians the three known as the “Pastoral Epistles” are widely considered inauthentic by scholars.

        What’s more much of what we are told about Paul in Acts does not jive with the writings attributed to Paul himself. In the epistles Paul is a take charge, bold maverick who answers to no one but God, while in Acts he is portrayed as this cooperative team player. Paul’s own writings are suspiciously silent about his alleged Damascus road conversion, his origin in Taurus, his battle with in Cypress with a rival wonder worker, ect. Furthermore, is it not suspicious that Paul an alleged student of Gamaliel of the Sanhedron would use the Greek translation of Jewish Scripture for all his scriptural references??

        Even if we ignore all this fishiness, how can you simply make assertions like: “Saint Luke, in fact, set about his writings with the highest purposes in mind” and expect to be taken seriously? You are making a bold assertion while offering no evidence.

        You say: “Ancient writers weren’t like postmodernists. They were honest for the most part.”

        Evidence please!! Ancient writers had every reason to lie, exaggerate, embellish or fudge the truth, that people have today, especially people writing texts with religious or political implications. These are areas where people often have strong emotional biases, and their writings are likely to reflect these. We are talking about that lived in a time when most people were illiterate and oral traditions were the primary source of communications. Furthermore people were much more superstitious in ancient times, and fact checking, peer review, and conventional standards of historical rigor had yet to be invented. Simply put, ancient writers frequently mythologized their leaders and holy men, so it should come as no shock that the authors of the bible did the same.

        We also know that first century Palestine was a time and place in which cult leaders, iterate preachers, and self-proclaimed messiahs, wonder workers and magicians were quite common. Why would you think any religious material from this time and place is reliable?

        Since you seem to think, ancient writers were in fact, wholly honest and reliable how do explain the numerous gospels that were not included because the church deemed them inaccurate or overly folkloric? How do we now the books they did select for the new testament are anymore reliable?

      • Mr. Wilson,

        I read from Saint Paul almost every day at morning Mass.

        It is clear to any reader who understands plain language, that Saint Paul’s letters are indeed heartfelt, warm and very loving letters to not only Timothy but to the church’s under his ministry.

        And how do we know anything?

        How do we know Plato or Socrates or Aristotle or anyone from the long lost ancient world?

        We know the Christian and Hebrew writers not only from their written words but because of very strong, indomitable traditions that over the ensuing millennia, faithfully and accurately passed down the original meaning of what they wrote.

      • Mr. Wilson,

        It is the custom of atheists to bury the simple in a confusion of irrelevant nonsense.

        Since it is the Church who gives meaning to their own scripture, it is absolute and utter nonsense to change the subject to which of Paul’s letters where really written by him.

        The Church carefully sifted through the spiritual literature circulating at the time, determined which writings were divinely inspired, and then compiled the Bible.

        The Bible is a collection of books which tell the story of God’s revelation about Himself to man.

        Whether Tom, Dick or Harry actually authored Paul’s letters makes no difference since it is the meaning that is important (the mind of God), not the human author.

        Although such knowledge is very interesting, it has no bearing on the meaning of Christian doctrine.

        All the atheist garble about inconsistencies and inaccuracies is the result of the usual atheist obsession with assigning their own meaning to things so that atheism somehow works out.

        In your case, you are trying to redefine the meaning of the Bible into atheist revelation because it contains verbiage that doesn’t pass the usual atheist litany of arbitrary standards.

      • Mr. Wilson,

        Regarding the honesty of the ancients…

        Such understanding comes from study.

        When a scholar or student reads ancient authors like Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero; Medieval authors like Saint Thomas Aquinas; and Renaissance authors like Niccolo Machiavelli; it is clear that all of these authors are pursing the truth, not an agenda.

        It is with the Protestant Reformers that we see the first large scale, purposeful, agenda-driven propaganda directed at established authority.

        Because actually thinking and reasoning out philosophical problems in the pursuit of truth is so much more difficult than pursing an agenda that defines and directs thought and ideas for its aspirants, the ancient way of thinking and the intellectual honesty it requires has fallen out of fashion.

    • Mr. Wilson,

      The Eastern Roman Empire lasted until 1453 when Byzantium finally fell to the Jihad.

      I have attended a university class recently on the Middle Ages and new findings are that the population of Roman Europe went into a catastrophic decline.

      Archeologists have actually found town boundaries that continue over time to move inward, indicating population loss and economic decline.

      The Catholic Church actually kept Europe from going completely to pieces.

      In 732AD, Charles Martel beat back the Jihad at the Battle Tours and saved Europe from Muslim conquest.

      Meanwhile it took the Christian Spaniards nearly 800 years to finally drive the Jihad from their lands and back to Africa.

      • Mr. Wilson says:

        You say “It is clear to any reader who understands plain language, that Saint Paul’s letters are indeed heartfelt, warm and very loving letters to not only Timothy but to the church’s under his ministry.”

        It is obviously not clear to any reader, because it is widely disputed. Also, note that because you have an emotional attachment to this literature means other should view what you say about it with an extra large grain of salt.

        You say “Since it is the Church who gives meaning to their own scripture, it is absolute and utter nonsense to change the subject to which of Paul’s letters where really written by him.”

        Why should I accept the churches official interpretation of it’s own scripture? Doing so would be a lapse of critical thinking on my part.

        you say “The Church carefully sifted through the spiritual literature circulating at the time, determined which writings were divinely inspired, and then compiled the Bible.”

        No they did not!! They voted on them in a manner more akin to a popularity contest.

        you say “Whether Tom, Dick or Harry actually authored Paul’s letters makes no difference since it is the meaning that is important (the mind of God), not the human author.”

        Yes it does matter, if the author is anyone other than the person the book claim’s it is, then the book is lying. Are you really asserting you can learn the mind of God from a book that lies about its authorship?

        You say: “In your case, you are trying to redefine the meaning of the Bible into atheist revelation because it contains verbiage that doesn’t pass the usual atheist litany of arbitrary standards.”

        No I’m subjecting it to the same rigor that is literary critics subject all literature from the ancient world, and find it falls short of the hype you assign it.

  7. Mr. Wilson says:

    You say: “Because actually thinking and reasoning out philosophical problems in the pursuit of truth is so much more difficult than pursing an agenda that defines and directs thought and ideas for its aspirants, the ancient way of thinking and the intellectual honesty it requires has fallen out of fashion.”

    Anyone advocating a certain philosophical, religious or political position has an agenda. Even if the authors are themselves honest they will definitely have bias in favor their beliefs. What’s more, the bible actually acknowledges that there were dishonest authors in the ancient world. In 2 Thessalonians 2.2, Paul warns of the existence of fraudulent letters claiming to be “from us” presenting false ideas. Either 2 Thessalonians is a forgery as many scholars believe or it was written by Paul and acknowledges that forgeries existed.

    Furthermore there are many known documents from ancient world that are widely regarded as forgeries. For example:
    1. The Donation of Constantine, which the Catholic Encyclopedia declares is “without a doubt a forgery”.
    2. The False Decretals (aka Pseudo-Isidorian Forgeries), A collections of over 1 hundred letters and decrees conferring power to the papacy, now long recognized as fake.
    3. The Clementines: A series of Fake 1st century letters, now known to be 4th century documents. These include the original claim that St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome.
    4. Acts of Paul and Thecla- These were condemned by early church father Tertulian, who stated:
    “If those who read the writing that falsely bears the name of Paul adduce the example of Thecla to maintain the right of women to teach and to baptize, let them know that the presbyter in Asia who produced this document, as if he could of himself add anything to the prestige of Paul, was removed from his office after he had been convicted and had confessed that he did it out of love for Paul.”
    – Tertullian, De batismo, 17.

    There are numerous others but any one disproves your argument about the inherent honesty of ancient works.

    Also we have examples of early church figures supporting dishonesty as a means of promoting their beliefs. For example, the bishop Eusibius, the official propagandist of Constantine states: “How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived.” Additionally 5th century Bishop of Constantinople wrote:

    “For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management, cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources fail, and making up for the defects of the mind …

    And often it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by means of this device, whereas he who has gone by a straight course has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived.”
    – Chrysostom, Treatise On The Priesthood, Book 1.

    You say: “The Eastern Roman Empire lasted until 1453 when Byzantium finally fell to the Jihad…”

    This piece of history is interesting, but I’m not sure it really helps much with your overall case.

    I’ll just ask you straight out, what piece of evidence would be required to convince you that you are in error about any of the things you have asserted here?

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