Identities Withheld Automatically

Letters Containing Personal Correspondence May Be Truncated

Writer Comments Appear In Black

My Comments Appear In Blue


The letters of disapproval section has been closed and finalized effective June 23, 2007.




Dr. Jason Long,

Greetings.  While I did do a high level read through your book (thorough in the introduction and the age of the universe section), I was disappointed to not find it filled with facts and thus I didn't do a thorough read.  It is interesting how you point to science as your evidence that the bible is wrong, yet you do so in a very precursory manner by making high level statements that claim something without the references to evidence to back them up and not offering evidence to the contrary of what is stated (with reference).  In your defense, you do list reference books, but that isn't the same as precise scientific reference.  As a scientist it is very important to use scientific methods without leaving out opposing evidence.  Theories should also be mentioned as theories and assumptions as assumptions.


The majority of the writer’s statements in the opening paragraph were regarding an earlier version of the book that I had published online. His chief complaint is that I do not spend enough time dealing with counterevidence. As I mentioned several times, the goal of the book is to provide the broadest possible look at biblical problems. It is simply impossible to go into the detail that he wishes if I am to stay within my set publication limits. Furthermore, if there was even a miniscule bit of evidence supporting a young earth, as the writer insinuates, I would be more than happy to reconsider my position. However, this evidence is 100% lacking. As I stated several times in Thousands Or Billions, any supposed evidence of a young earth has been thoroughly refuted.

You do a decent job at trying to show why the universe is billions of years old, but once again, you leave out specifics - what elements are missing that don't have a half life longer than 8 million years old and which ones that have a half life are present (forgive me if I missed it somewhere).


Unfortunately, space constraints limit me from including every single piece of supporting data that every single person would like for me to include.


I do know that the Hubble telescope has in recent years convinced the majority of astronomers that the universe isn't billions of years old (I'm not an astronomer, but it had something to do with the number of a certain type of stars being few in number - hundreds instead of thousands).


The Hubble telescope story is one of those comforting myths that Christians pass among each other to justify their beliefs. As a former Christian, I was once guilty of this. Anyone who does a modest amount of research will discover that there is only documentation for the contrasting position.


I would also caution you that linear extrapolation (things are as they always have been: atmospheric pressure and exposure to air dramatically affect the half-life of radioisotopes) and circular reasoning (dating earth layers based on fossils that are based on the earth layer they were found in) are not scientific (linear extrapolation is scientific if clearly stated as an assumption, but linear extrapolation over billions of years would seam rather presumptuous).  The Earth strata layer date structure also has yet to be proven - only linear extrapolation and circular reasoning justify it.


As for his linear extrapolation statement, one would consider it wise to believe that the best assumption regarding a process, such as radioactive decay, is that the process has indefinitely taken place in the same manner unless we have good reason to believe it has been affected in some fashion. It is astronomically improbable to assume that such an effect has taken place regarding earth’s radioactive isotopes. The writer's incredulous statements regarding the circular nature of fossil layers and radiometric dating inspired their own paragraph in the final version of Poor Christian Reasoning. I do not claim that they prove each other, only that both independently lead to the same conclusion.  A challenge to refute the facts that I presented went unanswered.

As a science oriented society, we have fallen a long way from the roots of science and tend to get wrapped up in arguing and emotion instead of facts.  A lead Chinese scientist (forgive me that I don't have his name) was quoted recently as saying "In China it is okay to question
Darwin, but not the government.  In your country (USA) it is okay to question the government, but not Darwin."  Please do the scientific community and the world a favor and use science correctly, even when it stands in the face of current scientific belief (remember Copernicus?).  Science has room for passion, but no room for emotion and your book seems filled with emotion (after reading through it, I would ask what made you bitter and turned you against religion since I don't find hard evidence supporting your science).


People are going to see what they want to see, I suppose.

Please let me know when you have a more thorough scientific explanation (proof for your points and proof against the opposition) - I will be happy to read it.


Seeing as how the writer was not pleased with my work, I recommended the talk origins archive. They do an infinitely more thorough job on the issues of evolution and the earth’s antiquity. In his subsequent response, he voiced his disappointment in the archive for two reasons: not including direct counterarguments; and the lengths that “evolutionists” will go through to stretch the truth. A quick check at the archive will demonstrate the lack of veracity of this statement. His subsequent response also included a list of “evidences,” such as Chinese writings and dinosaurs in the Bible, that support the book’s scientific veracity. Again, a modest amount of research will show the lack of validity in these suggestions. I simply don’t have the time or patience to point out direct references for every single “proof” offered by apologists. If this were a formal debate, I would make the time. People must learn to be responsible for doing their own research. While I am thankful that the writer took the time to write, his letters forced me to make a policy of not sending personal responses to those who will obviously not look at the data objectively.









    I was just wondering why you were so full of hate


I wonder if I would be full of hate if I attempted to demonstrate the fraudulent nature of a religion to which the writer did not belong.


and trying to take it out on the only decent belief system the world has to give people hope.


This is simple bigotry of other religions and philosophies.


 I will not fight you on wheither it is true or not, it is a belief, it is apparent you do not believe.


Being a belief does not take a proposition outside the realm of logic.  If I "believe" that 2+2=4, it is either true or not true.  If I "believe" that the world is a few thousand years old, it is either true or not true.  Religions do not get immunity from examination just because they are beliefs.  Either the events in the Bible did happen or did not happen.


 I suspect you have a chemical imbalance, I have to tell you some people live a happier life with medications.


I will let this statement speak for itself.


    I had watched a show on the Discovery Channel, the airing showed contravercy on extinction of dinosaurs (I believe it was in Greenland). I was searching for that type of info to show my 11 year old that I could put his educational textbook in question.


Scientific findings are not absolute.  They are designed specifically to be testable and falsifiable.  Otherwise they become part of a dogma, like religion.  We no doubt have incorrect and uncertain information about topics like dinosaurs.  The important part on which mainstream scientists all strongly agree is that they lived millions of years ago.  This alone disproves a literal interpretation of the creation story.


What did I come up with in my search was someone trying to disprove what this world needs.


This is an opinion – and I have demonstrated to the best of my ability that it should not be agreed with.


 If we lose the respect of the ten commandants, what type of world will we live in. Not a world I want to live in, especialy not a world I want my children to live in.


I don't think we should steal, murder, or lie unless it's for the greater good.  I think we should honor our fathers and mothers unless they did us wrong.  This is as far as most freethinkers will go along with the commandments.  Where I disagree is that I believe in freedom for a person to have (not necessarily act upon) their religious beliefs.  I don't think we should be disallowed from working on Saturday.  I believe idols of other gods are okay to have.  I think that using God's name in vain does harm to no one.  I think that adultery is okay if both responsible parties are willing to let the experience happen.  I go beyond not being jealous of other people's slaves and believe that no one should own slaves.  So, with just this paragraph, I have offered a moral code superior to the one in the Bible.  The type of world we live in, according to the writer's question, I think would be much more enlightened.


    Honestly I read with interest, you only held me for so long. I know why you do not yet have a publisher, (You are a very good writer), your outlook (better word for saying it) is bleak!!!


That's pretty much on target.  The facts I present aren't popular.


    I have lots to improve on myself, but I get angry when someone disrespects my Lord, when they are so right brained, without flexibility, that they find themselve clueless.


I am willing to entertain any possibility presented, but from my observations, many Christians will admit that nothing will change their minds.  I would say that the opposite is true of what the writer says.


    I was reading your excert on Noah's Ark, hoping you remember what you wrote and I can write with feeling:

    God lifted the souls of these Children before the demise.


This is a classic case of adding something to the Bible that isn't there.  The writer knows that such an act is cruel, begins with the premise that God is not cruel, and invents a necessary scenario that will complete the thought.


    Horrible fate? #1 they were animals.


Animals feel pain just like humans do.  They may not be intelligent, but I personally don't believe they should be drowned for no good reason.


    Have we forgotten about the life cycle, or are you surviving without?


I wish the writer had elaborated on this point.  What on earth does it mean?


Are you okay with over population of every living thing?


No, but this wasn't why the flood took place.  The reason was specifically stated as the evil of humankind, not overpopulation of every living thing.  Even if overpopulation was the problem, what gives God the right to drown everyone?


I have not read all passages in the bible, God having knowledge of the furture, I believe that would be choice. I believe he did give us choice.


I realize that this is what many people believe, but I have already demonstrated in the book that God knowing the future means that we must do exactly what he knows we are going to do.  We cannot do things that God doesn't know we're going to do because this would make God wrong.  As demonstrated more thoroughly in the book, omniscience and freewill cannot coexist.  Philosophers without dogma to defend have demonstrated this for centuries now.


I also believe we continue to make really bad choices. You so need to take yourself away from negativitaty and find something positive to "hold" onto! 


Why does the writer assert that I have nothing positive to hold onto?  This letter has so many ad hominems that I've lost count.


  My rebutle of Noah's Ark:

    God lifted the souls of these children before the demise.  

    Horrible fate: they were animals.

Did we forget about the life cycle, or are you surviving without? (

Are you okay with over population with every living thing?


Yes, this was included twice.


Omniscient, "God is a parent to earth as we are parent's to our children".


What does this have to do with omniscience?  Do parents kill and torture their children for eternity for not doing what they are told?


God is not a dictator, he wants us to learn and be better, did you miss that one?


I can't miss what is not there.  This characterization of God is way out of line with the Old Testament.


Okay, I can understand if you are an life time, physics, biology and chemistry major, that is really bad when you don't believe in mircles,


People with thorough backgrounds in science tend not to believe in miracles, superstitions, etc.  We try to explain phenomena via natural means.  I don't know what point the writer is trying to make here.


 I am sending you a miracle, because I want you to write better books. You will have a revelation and a better aspect on life, all I want back is a smile, I think god sent me to you! I hope you read this part,


If the writer thinks that God sent her to spray ad hominems as a miracle for me, I again weep for society.






Right now you are hellbound. I would be happy to show you the truth of your mistaken assumptions of your 5 biggest hostilities towards Jesus Christ being the 2nd Person of the Godhead and the completeness of God's Word, that is, the 66 books of the Bible.


The first letter on this page was an example of the gullible; the second letter was the basket case; now we have the question begging, philosophical preacher. If the writer has something to offer that apologists haven’t rehashed a million times, I invite him to share it with us. I have no idea what he’s referring to as my “5 biggest hostilities toward Jesus.” Since I have no real hostilities against the biblical character, this is simply a case of the sender not taking time to understand the perspective I offer.


This is your opportunity to give your life to Christ when you see that the 5 biggest things you hold against God's Word are in fact mistaken assumptions in your heart of hearts, bad reasonings, and selfish imaginations. How vain to live your life with these errors from your upbringing to now, ultimately showing hell is what you really do want. All this time you had been living a lie. Praise the Lord there is a way of salvation!


This is simply condescending preacher nonsense with the typical designation of the non-Christian as a vain individual who wants to go to hell.


URL: http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/Christianity.htm


The sender’s URL sent me to his homepage, which was filled with information about the rapture and end times. Also present were book recommendations, some written by Lee Strobel, probably one of the top three worst apologists that a Christian could recommend to someone.


Realize that agnosticism is like sitting on a pedestal of pride in the world.


This is a common apologetic statement, and it could very well be the most foolish one that they offer. The sender is basically saying that it’s prideful and arrogant to admit that you don’t know which religion, if any, offers the correct view of the world. Preaching that you know the truth, were born into the truth, and claiming there is no other truth, however, should not be regarded as prideful and arrogant.


Since we know you were intelligently designed because you did not create the universe and nature does not just happen all by itself (all things have cause and effect except the uncreated), this proves that atheism and angosticism are false. So this untruth you have is unresolved and needs to die on the cross.


The sender’s argument about cause and effect is called the “first cause” argument. This argument basically states that all effects have causes, except for the uncaused first cause, which is God. Four key problems invalidate this line of argument.


1. The field of quantum mechanics demonstrates that some effects may not require causes.

2. The argument attempts to circumvent its own axiom that all effects have causes by baselessly inserting an exception.

3. The argument does not deal with the much more simple explanation that the universe is the first “uncaused cause.”

4. Causes and effects are universal constructs; we cannot apply laws of the universe prior to the creation of the universe.


Interjecting a creator into the mix only needlessly complicates the issue. If all effects except the first one need a cause, why must an infinitely complex creator need to be part of the solution? Utilizing this line of argument, it is much more feasible to say that the universe was the first uncaused cause (the uncreated, as the sender put it). To circumvent this problem on his webpage, the sender simply asserts, without proof, that only non-material (i.e. God) is exempt from creation. What’s worse is that I don’t even reject the notion of a creator – I just reject the one depicted in the Bible.


Additionally, 1001 words, or 1001 books don't solve this problem. People think they can fillibuster, but it is just vanity no matter how many decades you have been at for see, in just one setence I destroyed your whole approach.


I didn’t realize that such a grammatically nightmarish sentence could destroy my “whole approach.”  Anyone can plainly see that there is no substance to this attempted rhetoric.


For a further investigation of the 4 point perfect proof for God:

URL: http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/perfectproof.htm


Summarized and answered, they are:

1. Since we have evolved so much in 6000 years, we would already be perfect if we had evolved for millions of years.

A1. This is a ridiculous (and incorrect) assertion without proof.

2. Nature does not happen by itself.

A2. I covered this previously.

3. God could not have been created because he would no longer be God.

A3. Ignoring his question begging of the nature of God, this “proof” has nothing to do with proving God’s existence.

4. (Variation of #1)

A4. See A1.


Hundreds of people have tried, but they have always failed in trying to bring down the perfect proof for God.


In other words, whatever contention you will bring up I am infinitely ahead of you to eternal life as has been revealed in previous discussions.


I see. I encourage readers to visit his page to view a nice example of empty, amateurish, pop-philosophical rhetoric.


Don't you know that once you have eternal life you can never lose it. To say otherwise is unBiblical nonsense. Obviously, therefore, the god that you believed in was not the God of the Bible since you did not enter into the new creation, so that means it is impossible to be an ex-Chistian. You have in fact never changed as though you are ex-nothing.


This is a good example of the no true Scotsman fallacy: “If you left the faith, you were never a true Christian.”


I don't want to see you perish for losing even one soul to hell is not joyous.


Still, he thinks he’s doing the right thing. You can’t argue with that.






Dear Sirs,
Please see my web page http://www.andrijar.com/other/climate.htm that deals with pressure drop, avalanche
condensation and meteor impact as mechanism for global flood, dinosaurs and huge animals extermination as proof that
Bible is correct.
The theory is copyright protected at 1996. As the theory becomes very popular these days please tell me if you read that
on some other source because I am willing to attempt all possible legal acts to protect me as author of the theory and
the device's patent pending process as well. If someone claims that he invented the same theory before the 1996, than
the court will identify the truth.
Thank you in advance for you kind understanding and cooperation, I remain.
Best regards,


AR’s page is another good example of an author with a flight-of-ideas approach that invents highly unlikely hypotheses to wrap science around the story rather than dealing with the flood’s problems.  His essay is definitely recommended reading.  I believe English is not his native language, so please try to overlook the grammar.






Unoriginal Nonsense Or, a Long, Hard Look


This is a link to a critical review written by Biblical apologist James Patrick Holding (a.k.a. Robert Turkel).  Aside from the insults, Turkel does a very respectable job at addressing a few of the points raised in the book.  I’m sure that had this society compelled him to believe a different religion, he would achieve similar results in its defense as well.


My Response To Turkel's Critique






It may be nonsense to you now. But my friend you will find out soon enough who is talking nonsense. For a person so “logical” I would be interested in hearing how we all got here???





SB’s rhetorical question is the quintessential example of a logical fallacy known as the argument from incredulity or the god of the gaps fallacy.  He essentially insinuates that since I cannot answer his question, his belief is the only solution that makes sense.  This line of thinking has been appropriately named the “god of the gaps” because “God did it” has been used throughout history as a way of explaining the apparently unexplainable gaps in our understanding.  Similarly, as I point out in the book, natural phenomena, such as earthquakes and eclipses, were once considered direct interventions of God because there were no other suitable explanations. Unfortunately, SB still utilizes this bankrupt line of reasoning.


Many Christians find comfort in the belief that “God did it” solves any problem without an apparent solution.  The problem that people like SB overlook is that his proposal only creates a more difficult problem.  If God created us all, who created God?  If we suppose that God was created from nothing, why can we not suppose that the universe (a system far less complex than an all-powerful being) was also created from nothing?  Answering the question of life’s origin by supposing that it was created by an all-powerful being only complicates and confounds the issue.


What’s worse than the utter lack of rationale exhibited by SB is that he becomes yet another person who lacks the capacity to understand my position correctly. I don’t discount the possibility that a higher power exists, but theorizing that the one in the Bible must exist based on our failure to explain the origin of the universe is patently absurd.





Dear LONG,


Concerning your book Biblical Nonsense.


Do you really think that rise questions that common Christian never asked himself during his devotional time reading his bible? I don’t know if anyone told you this and you might be surprised but questions from Reality and the bible and Morality and the bible, are normal in any reasonable Christian mind. Actually it is beginning for real understanding of God. You just don’t need to stop on your conclusions because they are wrong. Not facts but what you take out of them.

Anyway I think it is nice introduction. Most of the questions of my 1-3 years of Christianity. Continue your research and you might find the truth. Just don’t make the same mistake, though opposite, that we are usually do, start reading the bible knowing before we open even first page that there are no mistakes.


God bless you and lead you.




I certainly do not propose that the questions I raise in the book have never been contemplated by Christians. The problem lies with the process of thinking through the potential problems.  The vast majority will only look for answers confirming the validity and benevolence of the Bible.  In other words, most Christians will only look for an answer that satisfies the question the way that they want it to be satisfied.  It’s not comfortable to look at a problem from an impartial standpoint.  As I mentioned that the creationists only look for answers to confirm Genesis, many doubting Christians will seek advice only from sources to confirm the Bible.  Once an individual gains the ability to look at the situation without a confirmation bias, it will become obvious that the book is one of hundreds that falls short of its claims.  The worst thing we can ever do to solve the problem is “start reading the bible knowing before we open even [the] first page that there are no mistakes.”  This is precisely how scores of religions have continued to survive for centuries.





You are taking it literally. Your arrogance will be your downfall.


Criticism is more effective if constructive in some manner.






Interesting site, to be fair an open mind should be kept both ways. As far as the claim that the bible is wrong because it says the earth is young.......A study in the original language of the scriptures should be done. From what I find the Earth has had many ages. The scriptures start off by saying the Earth had become waste and void, and that is when the Spirit of the mighty one started the recreation of the earth. The flood till today would be another age.


The writer merely mentions "multiple ages" of the earth, which is a commonly used form of the "figurative days" argument for Genesis. If there is something in the original language to support multiple ages (as opposed to forcing puzzle pieces to fit with known data), let the writer present it.  I’ve studied various interpretations and have found them to be desperate attempts to reconcile the Bible with scientific data.  Author P’s intent is clear.  He wishes to convey that the earth was literally created over six days about 6000 years ago.  No amount of textual manipulation can change that.


Mistranslations happen when going from one language to another.


Based on the writer pointing this out, one should wonder how much of my book was actually read.


For myself I am a reconciliationist. I believe that it is and always has been the will of the ultimate being to bring all his creatures to perfection. Hell and punishment has been another terribly mistranslated subject. When trying to understand why the supreme being punishes we should realize that the scriptures state that we are being created in the image of this supreme being, therefore the human race will one day have incredible powers which we will need to be able to handle.


The subject has now changed to a sermon regarding hell, filled with one individual’s opinions and interpretations, but without biblical support.


I realize from a human perspective the Almighty's punishments are harsh but we must realize that they can be, because he can undo all the effects of them.


Except that there is no support for the idea that they will be undone.


Parents punishments seem hard to the child but they are necessary because the parent is trying to create a good person. The Almighty's punishments are harder because he is creating (super beings), beings whose very thoughts can create realities. "Let us make man in our image."


Again, there is no textual support for this idea.


The scriptures state that when the Almighty wounds he does it to heal, and when he kills he does it to make alive.


I’m not sure where the support for this idea lies, but the writer is now begging the question of the Bible’s legitimacy.


 Imagine if you will an all powerful being recreating himself. What would that involve?


Well, if I were all-powerful, I could wish it to make it so.  No creation, no hellfire, no punishment.  Why is this so complicated?


The creation would have to be self willed but still the creator is the source. The false view that we created ourselves or some power without a mind created us causes us to cut ourselves off from our source. Imagine living forever in this state, always incomplete. This is why the Almighty drove men out of paradise, so we would not live forever in our own false beliefs. Sometimes what is true can only be truly known when we have no choice but to come face to face with it. Experience it for our selves. Death for us is terrible, but we have no life apart from the life giver. When all illusions about this and all the pain that comes with it are known by the human race, all, it is written, will fall down on the knee and swear union with our maker so the almighty can be "All in All." The Almighty knew how self willed beings would act. He knew the situations and influences and environments that would shape every man. We have our responsibilities and he has his. He knew the first being he created would be the instrument he would use to perfect others and he knew who the first rebel would be. But knowing this does not remove our responsibilities either. He uses good and what we call evil to bring about his purposes. Again I state that purpose is to create human beings in his own image. This view of universal reconciliation was held by the early assemblies before the pagan religions slipped in. You are questioning those twisted views of the scriptures, this is good. But be open to the possibility that The Almighty is perfecting all mankind.


This letter is another good example of the flight-of-ideas approach for solving objections to God’s ruthless actions. Notice how it says a lot without actually saying much of anything?  Opinions, interpretations, fancy ideas, excuses, etc.


Do some research on the original language of the scriptures, discover what is true.

A Fellow Truth Seeker,


Again, one should wonder how much of my book was actually read.




Dear Dr. Jason Long,


I’m somewhat disappointed in what appears to be a very biased view of Christians and The God they worship.


Most Christians do not worship the God of the Bible.  They don’t know anything about him because extremely few of them read the Old Testament, much less study it in depth.   They worship the one that they hear about in Church.  Most of my book does not deal with mainstream Christianity.  If one reads Biblical Nonsense in its entirety, this much is obvious.  My views are not easily biased; they are based on what is written directly in the text.  If someone presents a better translation or interpretation of that text, I am more than open to accepting it.  I have no dogma to defend.  Apologists will defend inerrancy and the like no matter how grim their situation.


  It seems that you, yourself Sir have also been prejudiced by a view whether encouraged by the conditions around you or views shaped and brought on by your inability to deal with the problems you were unable to answer within the most profound book I and thousands of others like me have ever come across.


Conditions around me play no discernable part in the conclusions that I’ve made about the book.  I’ve read the Bible, studied what it means, and arrived at conclusions that are unavoidable to anyone who isn’t trying to defend what they’ve been taught.  I’m most intrigued about these “problems [I’m] unable to answer.” I’ve read just about all the apologetic answers there are to these problems, only to find them attempting to sidestep the real issues.  If the Bible is the most profound book one comes across, I would encourage more reading.


While it is very obvious that you are antagonistic towards The Holy Bible and what you think the Christian world view is, You too, it seems, have your biases and have been influenced by what appears to be verses what actually is!


Now, this letter has just reduced itself to “If you believed, you would understand.  I have the answers, and I’m sorry you don’t understand.”


  I would like to ask you if you would be willing to deal with some questions I have for you and share with me back and forth on your time line why it is as you claim it is in your introduction.


I’m more than willing to respond to any questions.


How do you KNOW that you are correct?  Are you sure!  Can you defend what it is you blieve?


I never claim to “KNOW” that I’m correct in my conclusions.  I admit this much in the book.  I don’t “KNOW” that fairies don’t exist, but I can be reasonably sure based on the lack of evidence and known hoaxes throughout history that they don’t.  In the same manner, scientific errors, historical mistakes, and other absurdities in the Bible lead me to the same conclusion about this particular version of a creator.  Demanding that I defend what I believe is also an attempt to shift the burden of proof on the disbeliever.  This, as I mentioned in Poor Christian Reasoning, is using fallacious logic.  I am more than happy to explain what I believe and why I believe it.  If my conclusions appear wrong based on further evidence or alternate avenues of thought, my beliefs and thoughts change.  Those who make the positive claims have the burden of proof.


I will say without doubt that you definitely seem to be a very intelligent man (probably much more intelligent than I ever will be) from the way you write; however, as I am sure you would say to me just as easily, "things are not always as they appear."  Is it possible that you may be wrong about what you believe today?


Yes.  I am most certainly wrong about a few things regarding the Bible.  I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll probably be wrong again.  This is the scientific method: forming tentative explanations, testing ideas, gathering data, and making rational conclusions based on those tasks.  Based on the problems presented in my book, I think the stories on the cover of Weekly World News are just as likely to be true as those in the Bible.  Both have an awful lot of explaining to do.  The level of evidence against the Bible is overwhelming, and that is highly unlikely to change.


 I'm most interested in having you share with me if you would.  Would that be okay Sir?


Thank you



Share away.




Update: After several months, TH has yet to send me any questions.  I’ll remove this line and post them if TH ever does.






I came across your book and skimmed through some of it and plan to spend some more time looking through it.  It looks like you cover a lot of material.  I enjoyed your explanations about fallacious reasoning as that is one of the things in life that just drives me crazy.  However, I was a little disappointed that the examples you gave were somewhat disingenuous or as a result of a lack of good quality exposure to what I would call “real” apologists.  As a student of apologetics for about 12 years now, the only places I have heard those kinds of ridiculous arguments were in listening to uninformed Christians (unfortunately a large portion of the Church) and televangelists (also an unfortunately blight on the Church).  Of course, reading through the “Letters of Disapproval” I can see where you and others would get the idea that Christians are ignorant or brain washed.  It pains me to see my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ drag His name through the mud with ridiculous arguments that hurt rather than help our cause.  You are probably aware of these authors already, but I will mention them anyway, just in case because I believe they have some good sound arguments and reasoning:


 Greg Koukl (www.str.org – lots of short, topical commentaries and discussions on a variety of issues)

Norman Geisler

Gary Habermaas

J.P. Moreland


If you haven’t checked any or all of them out, I would encourage you to do so (in the order I put them) as they are not the typical “’cuz the Bible sez so” Christians.  It is by no means exhaustive, but these are some of my personal favorites and I am generally pleased with their intellectual honesty.


I don't consider the examples put forth in "Poor Christian Reasoning" to be the best of the lot, just some of the clearest violations that I've encountered.  It wouldn't do much good for me to include some long, drawn-out, thoughtful discussions that contained these examples since it’s not the point of the chapter.  I stand by my observation and the identical observation made by others who have left Christianity - almost all religious people have been conditioned to believe what society has told them to believe.  This does not apply solely to Christianity.  I hope the readers can appreciate that people tend to believe whatever their parents and society in general believes and are typically able to rationalize their beliefs with evidence pointing to the contrary.  Let’s take the writer of this letter, for example.  Does he go into church and tell the kids that they should impartially study both sides of the Christian/Atheist argument in order to find out the truth, or does he tell them that Christianity is true and give them reaffirming material if they have doubts?  If it is the former, I would be very impressed since I have not met any pastor who fits that choice.  I have read arguments by the apologists mentioned and consider them to be much more honest and eloquent than the likes of the typical internet apologists, just as I find the sender of this letter to be more respectable than other disagreeing people who have written me.  This does not change the fact that they are guilty of trying to cover obvious errors with ridiculous explanations. What good is a researcher who will not consider that his point of view may simply be wrong?  Should we honestly believe that these apologists think the Bible might be wrong?  This is the problem with all religious apologists, regardless of the belief.  They will begin by assuming certain premises to be true (e.g. talking donkey, man coming back to life, DNA changes via peeled branches, moon splitting in half) and mold an explanation to patch the error, no matter how unlikely it may be.  This is how religions thrive.  Are these not the confirming answers doubting Christians want to find?  If the sender knows of a particular argument that is especially compelling, by all means, I think it should be shared.  I’m almost certainly wrong on a number of issues, but any freethinking individual realizes that the Bible is errant on an overwhelming number of topics.

Also, you might want to check out some of the information about Anthony Flew’s recent rejection of his long held atheistic beliefs in favor of theism (specifically a deistic view at this time, but Gary Habermaas is still working on him  J  ) as a result of the argumentation for Intelligent Design.  You can find an interview with him at http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/flew-interview.pdf. While it is not proof for the existence of God, it is interesting to see an intellectual giant in the field of atheistic and religious philosophical thought change after so many years of strong atheistic belief.


Regarding Anthony Flew, readers will want to look into the rest of the story.  Flew withdrew his two sole reasons for becoming a deist.  Since this part of the account is not newsworthy to Christians, the balance of the story doesn’t get passed around.   (I originally stated that Flew completely rescinded his beliefs, but that does not appear to be correct.  I probably made a mistake by saying so.)  Still, at no point did he endorse the ridiculous biblical god or biblical creation - and the writer is correct by realizing that it would not amount to proof if he did.  If such things were proof, the readers should realize that five times as much proof is amounting on the wrong side of the fence every day.


I hope you have a great day and I hope that you will continue to honestly examine the evidence on both sides of the debate,



Children’s Pastor

First Baptist Church B


JA has also informed me that he urges the children to study both sides of the religious issue.  I felt that this was worth mentioning.





Were there any historians who were contemporary of Jesus whose writings still exist. The historians you mention seem to be after the fact.

Yes, Philo of Alexandria, as written in the book.  Others contemporaries who could have mentioned him include Apollonius of Tyana, Valerius Maximus, and possibly Seneca, not to mention the thousands who allegedly witnessed these miracles but weren't moved enough to write about them.  All sorts of second century historians write about him, but no contemporary and first century historians.  To answer your question, there are very few contemporaries who could have mentioned him, but there were plenty a few decades later who should have recorded the reports.

Why not consider the apostles to be historians?

What did the apostles write?  No unbiased scholars and hardly any Christian scholars maintain that the Gospels were written by the Apostles.  The same goes for dating these texts as anything earlier than the late first century.  Otherwise, why not consider works like the Gospel of Peter, James, and Thomas if we're going to consider Matthew and John.  The further contradictions destroy New Testament reliability.

You mention JEWISH historians did not mention Jesus.  They would have considered Jesus a false prophet. False prophets abounded; did they mention any of them by name?

Philo was one who had no problem mentioning all sorts of religious movements, regardless of how he felt about them.  Not all of the historians were Jewish.  Others were Roman or Greek.

Would not Jesus be a rather local phenomenon? He did not travel widely and his emergence was of short duration. The word was mainly spread by the apostles.   

Historical stories of feeding five thousand people with a plate full of food, raising the dead, healing the blind, exorcising demons, walking on water, rising from the dead, and walking around with five hundred zombies with countless witnesses would hardly remain local for several decades.







I will be upfront and let you know that I have not nor will I ever read you book.  There are a few things I would like to say about what I have read from your site (which I happened on by accident).  In Chapter three you make a comment that pretty much says the smarter you are the more chance you have of leaving Christianity.  This carries great implications with it.

First, that's a great mischaracterization of what I actually propose in the chapter.  Influence plays a major role, and almost certainly an even greater role, along with intelligence.  Second, whether or not this observation carries implications is unrelated to whether or not the observation is valid.  Before we get ahead of ourselves, however, let us see if the implications are even part of a valid causal relationship.

The implications that you have to lack intelligence to have faith is very rude and does not do any favors to your cause (whatever that might be).

Problem one is that, again, I say no such thing.  Arguing that an intelligent person is more likely to leave the faith (a position defended time and time again by statistical analysis) is not the same thing as saying that you have to lack intelligence to have faith.  I even go as far as to say that there are many intelligent people within the faith.  Thus, the author's accusation is obviously a non sequitur.  Choosing not to read the book (or at least the relevant passage), of course, has handicapped the author from making a valid argument.  Problem two is that what one considers to be "rude" is irrelevant to whether or not it is true.

If you feel you have no cause then let me ask you why write this book? 

Where do I say I have no cause?  I obviously feel that this is a worthy cause, or else the book would have never been written.

You talk about Christian authors writing on the same topic multiple times and it not making their subject anymore believable, well you fall into this category as well.

The problem is not with the Christian authors, it is with the erroneous assumption that somehow a large volume of repeated material defending a certain proposition somehow increases the validity of the proposition.  A lot of people make this mistaken assumption, and that's the only reason I point it out.  Of course, the same goes for non-Christian authors.  If a million people repeat what I've written, the statements are no more valid than they are right now.  The validity of the statements rests entirely on how well they can be demonstrated as factual.

I am not here to bash you, tell you that you are going to hell, or insult your intelligence.  You seem to be an intelligent man that has a biased toward Christianity.  If you feel that you have no biase towards Christianity then you are an amazing writer because you wrote with an underlying disdain for it. 


Bias and disdain are two entirely different concepts.  I had no bias or disdain for Christianity when I did my original study of it.  I neither hated it nor liked it.  I was only born to become a member of it.  Only after an in depth analysis did I truly appreciate the evil contained in the Bible.  I have never had a considerable emotional attachment to make me favor one conclusion over the other.  Considering the overwhelming evidence against the faith, it's not necessary for me to have a bias against Christianity.

One can even dislike a principle while remaining unbiased towards it.  For instance, suppose that an individual has been called to be a jury member in a trial that involves someone he hates on the defense team.  The jury member can weigh the evidence independent of his personal feelings, decide how he would have voted in the case had the hated person not been a member of the defense, and apply that decision to the case at hand.  Some people are capable of setting aside emotions while others are not.  This separates disdain and bias into two distinct entities, even in the instance that they are concurrently present.

One last thought, in the letters of disapproval (I think that is what it was titled) on your website, someone asked you for your thoughts on how we got here.  You automatically went defensive and accused them of the god of the gaps fallacy.  I am pretty sure, from the letter you posted, that they had an honest curiousity of what you thought.


I will repost the letter to which the author refers in its entirety.  Readers can make up their own minds as to whether or not this is "an honest curiosity."

It may be nonsense to you now. But my friend you will find out soon enough who is talking nonsense. For a person so “logical” I would be interested in hearing how we all got here???

Did the one asking the question already have his mind made up that I was wrong?  So much is clear.  Did this sound like “an honest curiosity?” Obviously not.  Furthermore, I have never been asked this question without my answer of "we don't know" leading to the god of the gaps fallacy, so I feel it's a safe bet at this point to make such an assumption.  The question is also epistemologically meaningless since we can only use concepts contained within our universe to discuss what was before the universe.  This presumes existence of universal concepts (such as logic) before the universe existed, which is fallacious.  This leaves us with only guesses.

If you are strong enough and intelligent enough to attack Christianity please be strong enough to offer up your opinion.  Now if your response to that is that it is in your book you must realize that many who visit your website will never purchase your book.


My position is that we don't know.  My position is also irrelevant to whether or not the Bible is true and, therefore, irrelevant to the subject of the book.  Suggesting otherwise is creating a false dichotomy of Christian Theism versus my opinion, which also borders on shifting the burden of proof.  An opinion isn't a required prerequisite for eliminating possibilities.


It’s also irrelevant whether or not people buy the book because it’s reprinted in its entirety on the website.  If people visit the website and the book contains the answer, two requisites per the question, they have all the tools necessary to obtain the answer.  In actuality, there was no reason for me to answer this question, but I suppose some people would rather intimidate than research.

As I wrote I thought of one other thing I wanted to mention.  At one point, I think it is when you were wrapping up, you said something to the effect of if you are still stubborn enough to still believe in Christianity.  That is very rude and very damaging to any objectivity that you claim to have. 


Exactly how does this observation of the opposite viewpoint destroy objectivity?  Is not Christianity (and other religions) stubborn by nature?  Are the followers not unyielding, firmly resolved, determined, resolute, and persistent in their beliefs?  If I decide that people who believe in a flat earth are stubborn, can I not still have an objective opinion as to the shape of earth based solely upon the evidence, especially if the evidence was reviewed long before I arrived at the conclusion that one side was stubborn?

There was absolutely no reason to insult someone who believes in a religion that you cannot prove to be untrue.


Again, where was the insult?  I defend Christians while blaming the Bible for their misguidance throughout the book.  Again, however, the author's statement borders on shifting the burden of proof.  I do not need to disprove anything.  If I believed that a herd of ten-pound elephants knitting cashmere sweaters on the surface of Jupiter created the earth, and if I refused to budge from my position regardless of the counterarguments offered, am I anything but stubborn?  Would the author defend me as readily if this were my position?  Should I require my belief to be disproven or else given proper respect?






I am 16 years old and have explored the works of yourself, CS Lewis, Lee Strobel, and Darwin himself.


I mean absolutely no offense when I say what I do, because I was sixteen once.  Lewis and Strobel are quite possibly the worst two apologists to ever defend the Christian faith, and anyone well versed in biblical issues would realize this.  When I was sixteen, however, they would have been very convincing because they were telling me what I wanted to hear.  I believed some strange things at that age but now know that anyone who believes he reads a few books at age sixteen and has all the answers to form a conclusion on an important issue will find out otherwise soon enough.


And as I look I always arrive at the same conclusion: Atheism has alot of ''If'', and ''let us suppose that''.


“If” and “let us suppose that” are usually logical steps and constructs in a proof.  For instance, “if” red is good, “then” good is red; and “let us suppose that” green is bad.  This would mean that red is better than green, given correct premises.  See how it works?


 In the Bible there is no such thing.


The alternative to proofs is assertions.  The Bible is not really attempting to defend itself, so what need would it have for logical arguments anyway?


I have not read all of "Biblical Nonsense,'' but I see that you are dedicated to fighting our God on the grounds that some things in his word don't make sense.


I am submitting an argument against the veracity of Christianity based on the Bible’s absurdity, errancy, historical inaccuracy, cruelty, and moral bankruptcy, not because it doesn’t make sense.


God gave us common sense as a tool. You can't use it back on Him!


It will be difficult to list all the reasons wrong with this statement, but I’ll list a few off the top of my head.


  1. This begs the question of God’s existence.
  2. This is an assertion, not an argument.
  3. If God gave us common sense as a tool, the tool can certainly be used.  The product of its use is what should be in dispute.
  4. If God did things that defy common sense, then common sense can bring the actions into question.


My bottom line is this.I have seen you admit on this site that you make mistakes.


All humans make mistakes, even those who wrote the Bible.  Suggesting that my conclusion is erroneous simply because I make mistakes is rather foolish.  I believe that the earth is spherical, substances are composed of atomic particles, and the body uses ATP as its primary energy source.  Should I drop these beliefs despite overwhelming evidence to their veracity simply because I make mistakes?  Should I drop these beliefs despite overwhelming evidence to their veracity simply because I might be punished for not believing an alternative explanation?


 If you are right, and there is no Hebrew God, or maybe no God at all, you may or may not know after death if you are right. But if you are wrong you will know forever. I have doubted, but decided the same thing you should. IT IS NOT WORTH RISKING HELL..


I’ve been waiting for Pascal’s Wager to be presented in one of these letters, and it has now arrived.  Pascal’s Wager states that we should believe in the God of the Bible because:


  1. We gain nothing for saying that he doesn’t exist and being right.
  2. We lose everything for saying that he doesn’t exist and being wrong.
  3. We lose nothing for saying that he does exist and being wrong.
  4. We gain everything for saying that he does exist and being right.


Thus, according to Pascal, we only lose or break even for not believing; and we only win or break even for believing.  Most Christians abandoned this line of reasoning long ago.  First and foremost, Pascal’s Wager is a false dichotomy which, as I described in Poor Christian Reasoning, is the erroneous belief that there are only two solutions to a question.  Pascal ignores other possibilities.  For instance, what if Islam is the right religion?  Christians are punished for blasphemy and the non-religious are punished for denial.  What if an unknown ancient European religion was the right one?  We will all die, but some of us will have wasted our lives on a delusion.  As there are countless possibilities, it is not as simple as Pascal and the sender would like for us to believe.


It is also incorrect to suggest that we gain nothing by abandoning false belief and superstition.  Instead of wasting time in practices that are unnecessary, we can live more productive lives that offer some sort of benefit to humanity.  For instance, what if just 10% of the hours spent on religion throughout human history were instead spent on scientific research?  I think even many Christians would agree that we would be better off than we are now.


CS Lewis said he found no reasonable alternative to Genisis 1:1. Neither have I. If you have, please present it.


Why don’t I just copy what I said to the last person who made such a suggestion?


My position is that we don't know.  My position is also irrelevant to whether or not the Bible is true and, therefore, irrelevant to the subject of the book.  Suggesting otherwise is creating a false dichotomy of Christian Theism versus my opinion, which also borders on shifting the burden of proof.  An opinion isn't a required prerequisite for eliminating possibilities.


Like other disagreeing voices who have written, the sender fails to appreciate the common problems with the “God did it” solution: using universal constructs in arguments prior to the universe, determining how God was created, explaining why self-creation is more likely with increasingly complex entities, etc.  I’ve covered these with previous letters and feel no need to go further in depth again.


God Bless Always,



I Believe dude





I just stumbled on your site--it would seem you've got quite a lot on your mind.  Without delving too deeply into things, I'd like to note a few things:

1. It's interesting that the historical evils you attribute to Christians are almost all the result of those people violating the principles of Christianity.  Therefore, much of the evil you attribute to Christianity (including the Crusades) is the result of  UN-Christianity.


This is a fine example of the writer flirting with the No True Scotsman fallacy.  For whatever action the writer deems to be a black mark on Christianity, he claims that it is "un-Christian."  There is no such defining line (or "principles of Christianity") as to whether or not a person is or is not acting like a Christian.  The writer's definition would have to be arbitrary, because by strict definition, a Christian is someone who is like Christ, which is, again, arbitrary.  The writer simply wants us to think that the evils in society perpetuated by those who claim to be Christians aren't really acting like Christians and we should not consider them as such.  That is the fallacy.  A person who considers himself a Christian by following what he believes to be proper Christianity is considered a Christian by the standards of society.  Thus, the issue with these actions is whether or not they were carried out in the name of Christianity.  In other words, were the actions the result of Christians following their beliefs?  The answer is affirmative to all the examples I provide in the opening of the book: Manifest Destiny, slavery, witch hanging, etc.  These specific events would have been eliminated or greatly reduced without Christian beliefs fueling them.


(Not to mention the Crusades were initially intended as a defense against the wars instigated in the name of Islam.)


This myth is constantly passed among members of the Christian community.  The truth is that Christian scholars blame the Muslims, Muslim scholars blame the Christians, and independent scholars are mixed.  Just do a google search on who started the Crusades, and you'll receive dozens of different opinions.  The only consistent finding is that the Christians carried it out for way too long, as the writer alluded by saying they "were initially intended as a defense…" (emphasis mine)

2. I have not seen anywhere that you document the evils of atheism


If evils of atheism exist, they are probably not documented for the same reason that I didn't document the evils of Islam or child molestation: they are not the subject of the book.  We'll get to these so-called evils of atheism in a minute.


(or humanism, if you prefer that term).


It is not a matter of what term I prefer because the two schools of thought are independent and sometimes even contradictory.  Atheism is a religious stance that there is not sufficient evidence for a god.  Humanism is a philosophy to do what is for the greater good without the expectation of a supernatural reward.  Since there are several known Christian Humanists, it wouldn't make much to sense to call them Christian Atheists.  The writer's attempt to derail Humanism as just another word for Atheism will not be overlooked.  He simply does not know the difference.


While I understand that's not the purpose of your site or your writing,


Then why does the writer even ask why they are not included?


the evils perpetrated by consistent atheists, even through just the last century, make the evils of inconsistent Christians pale in comparison.


This statement, as a whole, is incorrect, but I'll get to that in a minute.  Again, atheism is a religious stance.  There is no philosophy behind it.  I will assume that the writer is primarily referring to Russia, in which case people like Lenin and Stalin literally worked millions of people to death under a brutal regime.  The problem with claiming that Atheism has caused the injustice is that their religious beliefs did not drive them to be the men that they were.  How many people were killed strictly because, and for no other reason than, the killers had no belief in a god?  A lengthy treatise on the subject of Russian history over the past two hundred years will have to wait for another day, but while we can say that a great travesty took place under regimes lead by Atheists, we cannot say that Atheism was the cause of the injustice.  The writer makes the common Christian mistake of confusing correlation with causation on this particular issue.


Notice how the writer also refers to the Atheists as "consistent."  In other words, he wants us to believe that it is, by definition, consistent for Atheists to perpetuate evil because Atheism is consistent with evil.  This is nothing but hateful bigotry coming from an ignorant Christian, and I think very little of people who think this way.  The Christians, on the other hand, who perpetuate the very same evils are "inconsistent" with true Christianity. Whether you call them "inconsistent" types or "untrue" types, the same No True Scotsman fallacy is being committed.


Where atheism reigns, there has always been mass murder and an increase in human enslavement and suffering.  Atheistic regimes are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of people and the repression and enslavement of hundreds of millions more.


Since the writer does nothing but assert, I will do the same and say that monotheistic religions have proven to be more violent throughout history than polytheistic and non-theistic.  There have been studies to support this notion, and I will leave it to the reader to research the matter.  The notion that mass murder, enslavement, and suffering exist under Atheistic regimes is no doubt true.  The same can be said about Christian regimes and other Christian governments throughout history.  This is irrelevant, however, because the issue at hand, once again, is the evils carried out strictly in the name of Christianity.  The writer can knock down his straw man all he wants, but readers are going to know that he isn't dealing with the real issue.  Furthermore, I would like the writer to demonstrate how "Atheistic regimes are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of people and the repression and enslavement of hundreds of millions more."  I know the writer cannot do so because I've read all of these bogus arguments before.  I would also like the writer to explain how areas with polytheistic religions are more peaceful and have less suffering than monotheistic societies.  Do more gods equal more happiness?


Where Christianity has been consistently practiced people enjoy the highest levels of literacy, prosperity, and peace.


Such as Africa and South America?  Again, this is more detraction, but I'll bite on it.  South America is almost entirely Christian.  Africa is half-Christian and half-Muslim.  How are the literacy, prosperity, and peace in these places?  They're the two most illiterate, unprosperous, and unpeaceful continents in the world.  This observation does not support the writer's case, so this obviously is not what he intended to convey.  What he intended to convey, I assume, is the success of places like the United States.  Yes, the US is better off than most countries, but even the US is now quickly sliding out of the top twenty in fields like literacy and education, all the while constantly involving itself in foreign wars and other unpeaceful affairs.  No one can deny that the US is the most prosperous country in the world, but was the success not due to harsh Christian Capitalist governments that forced people to work unsanitary jobs for eighty hours a week during the Industrial Revolution just to feed their families?  Was the success also not due to kidnapping and enslaving people from other countries in order to gain free labor and get ahead of the competition?  It seems that these very "un-Christian" principles are part of what lead to the country's prosperity.  Perhaps the writer wants us to think of Western Europe and Japan as well, but I would suggest checking out the religious demographics of those areas.  The vast majority of those populations consider religion irrelevant, and they have considered it so for quite a while.


This is not at all an argument for the truth or falsity of Christianity,


One of the few things on which we will probably agree.


but it would seem that atheism (or humanism)


I will point out again that a major difference exists between the two and that the two terms cannot be used interchangeably.


is a historically guaranteed road to everything held to be evil, unpleasant, and backward, whether or not it's true.


I feel I have sufficiently demonstrated that the writer has not proven the point that he keeps revisiting.


The workers' paradise never materializes. 


The writer has now shifted to Communism, which like Humanism, is a distinct entity from Atheism.  Perhaps he does not know this.


For whatever reason, Christianity seems to produce happier people, even if the people in a Christian society don't happen to be Christians.


Perhaps the reader would like to share his findings that happiness is higher in Christian countries, that the happiness is higher as a direct causal result of the society being Christian, and that this is somehow relevant to whether or not the Bible is the word of God.


  To not come off looking like a hack, you need to defend why you'd like to steer society toward such a horrible fate as atheism consistently produces.


Since I have demonstrated that the writer's reasoning fails, that the assertions he has made are demonstrably false, and that he is attacking a straw man, I will let his statement here speak for itself.


The onus is on you to demonstrate that atheism leads to a better existence.  Not an easy task.


An unprecedented number of logical fallacies exist in this statement.


  1. Straw man.  I make no claim that the country needs to be Atheist, only that great evil has been carried out under Christianity.
  2. False dichotomy.  There are more choices than Christian Theism and Atheism.
  3. Red Herring.  A better existence under Christianity is irrelevant to whether or not the Bible was written under divine intervention.
  4. Shifting the burden of proof.  Even if it were my intention to demonstrate that Atheism leads to a better existence, I would not need to prove the assertion since it is the natural state of man.  If a principle should be involved within a society, the burden of proof is on those who want to institute the principle.

3. You do not possess (or choose not to use) the set of mental categories necessary to deal with the Bible honestly.


What "mental categories?"  Does the writer expect the reader to just accept whatever he asserts because he uses abstract terminology of which no one can comprehend the intention?


  It will always be an incomprehensible book if you insist on overlaying a foreign framework over it and insist that the Bible fit the framework.


This isn't necessarily true because if the Bible is expected to fit within a wide foreign framework and it actually does fit within the framework, then it will make sense.  However, the only framework that I insist the Bible fit in is one that is consistent and factual.  If it is not consistent and factual, it should be disregarded as the authentic message of the universe's creator.


  You must see if the Bible's own framework is necessarily inconsistent with itself, human experience, and the observable universe, like you would do with any other book (I hope).


For reasons demonstrated in my book, God is inconsistent with himself, the Bible is inconsistent with itself, and both are inconsistent with the observable universe.  As for what the writer intended as being "necessarily inconsistent with … human experience" is anyone's guess.  He does not elaborate.


Of course if you look at the Bible presuming it is false and impossible ( i.e. not even considering "what if it were true?") then nothing you read in it will be convincing.


No matter how many times I explain this, it keeps popping up.  "What if it were true?" is not the correct first question to ask.  "Is it true?" would be more appropriate.  The remainder of the writer's statement has been addressed before.  I did not begin my analysis with presuming it was false and impossible.  I began by searching for the truth and forming conclusions based on gathered information.  Any person with no religious dogma to defend who begins an analysis on a work this ridiculous, regardless of what religious message it offers, will come to the same conclusion.  It is also incorrect to suggest that if one finds a work, as a whole, false, then there is nothing in it that can be considered convincing toward a specific viewpoint.

4. A Ph.D. should already know everything I just mentioned.


Most Ph.D.s aren't this logically handicapped, but even an attempted insult by the writer has holes in it.  How is a Ph.D. in, say, medical engineering supposed to know that "Christianity seems to produce happier people?"  If the writer is referring to a specific Ph.D., perhaps he would like to share what field encompasses the history of the Crusades; Russian history; religious philosophy; rates of literacy, prosperity, and peace as they correlate to religious demographics; and notions like "Atheism is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths," "Atheists are consistent if evil," and "Humanism is just another word for Atheism."

5. While you state that there is a psychology of denial involved in religious belief, from a biblical point of view, (since we're talking Bible here) there is a psychology of atheism that represses any evidence for God.


Now this is the first intelligent statement offered by the writer.  If an Atheist represses evidence for God, then he is committing the same mistake as the Christian who represses evidence against God.  The trouble for the writer, however, is that there is no psychology of freethinking Atheism.  A lack of a belief based upon a lack of evidence is not the same as being conditioned to accept only evidence that invalidates God.  Freethinkers didn't get their name by starting off with no influence; they fought their way through it.


If we start off by assuming that the Bible is true,


…which is a strict violation of scientific principle


 your entire body of work becomes evidence for the veracity of the Bible.


Not even close.  If we want to be unscientific and start off by assuming that the Bible is true, my entire body of work can work either for or against the veracity of the Bible.  If evidence is offered that does not agree with the assumption, the position that the Bible is true becomes weakened.  If evidence is offered that does agree with the assumption, the position that the Bible is true becomes strengthened.  Asserting that any evidence, regardless of the evidence, supports a proposition is epistemologically ridiculous.  The writer should have just as well said, "If we start off by assuming that Hinduism is true, the Bible becomes evidence for the veracity of Hinduism."  It would have been just as logically consistent if he had done so.


  Just like if you start off by assuming that only psychological glitches and conditioning keep people believing in God, they will all be evidence for the power of conditioning and mental repression.  Presuppositions make all the difference.


The writer offers yet another straw man because I offer no such idea.  People believe in God for a variety of reasons.  The primary reason for a person's religion is the importance that the person's environment places on it.  Conditioning and dissonance are strong factors in people not wanting to change their strongest beliefs, religious or otherwise.  This extremely well documented phenomenon is the cornerstone of persuasive psychology.  The fact that it exists and plays a strong role in decision-making is not in doubt.  I did not start by assuming that "only psychological glitches and conditioning keep people believing in God," so no such presupposition was made to "make all the difference."

I wish you nothing but the best, but your work in its current form is arrogant,


This copy and paste from a previous letter will do fine:


The writer is basically saying that it’s prideful and arrogant to admit that you don’t know which religion, if any, offers the correct view of the world. Preaching that you know the truth, were born into the truth, and claiming there is no other truth, however, should not be regarded as prideful and arrogant.


intellectually lazy, sloppy,


Considering the amount of critical and rational thought exhibited by the writer, I don't take much offense to his opinion.  Anyone can assert that a project is intellectual lazy and sloppy.  If the audience is expected to side with an opinion, elaboration is necessary.


and unconvincing.


Somehow, I doubt that the writer read the book, but anyone who is adamant enough about defending a religious dogma that they consider it important and essential is not going to be easily convinced.  This goes for any position held fast by a great emotional investment.


  If the point of this (rather extensive) exercise is to get people to reject Christianity you are going to have to do a lot better job of providing them with a better alternative.


The point of the exercise is to demonstrate that Christianity is based on false information.  It is not an attempt to win a crowd over to another viewpoint.  However, some people are honest and strong-minded enough to realize when they are wrong, yet realize that they don't need all the answers to declare that a certain position is incorrect.  Some people can start eliminating possibilities.


  Right now, you just come off like God beat up your dog and you need to vent about it.


The book is over two hundred pages of evidence submitted on the Bible's absurdity, contradictory nature, historical inaccuracy, and moral bankruptcy.  Perhaps I wouldn't "come off like God beat up [my] dog and [I] need to vent about it" if people who thought this chose to read a section before commenting on it.


  Show us the glories of humanism as it has actually played out in history, and you shall have a following.


It's statements like this that lead to me believe some people just don't read anything before attacking it.  Not once in the book do I mention anything pertaining to humanism.  Only one obscure statement in the FAQ mentions anything about this:


I really don’t have a religion, but I pretty much follow the basics of humanism. This means I try to do what I believe is for the greater good of humanity without the expectation of a reward. I base my decisions and actions upon reason and observation rather than religious convictions and ancient superstitions. I call myself agnostic because I know of no way to be certain about supernatural existence – I can only eliminate possibilities.

The "glories of humanism," if such things exist, are irrelevant to whether or not the Bible has any veracity as the word of the universe's creator.  They are also irrelevant to whether or not humanism is valid.  More than enough time has spent on the assertions and fallacious logic of this letter.

Best Regards,




Dr. Long,

    I will begin by saying I currently believe myself to be athiest. I am from a christian family and have been looking around to make sure I am believing what is correct. In a google search I came upon your page and decided to check it out. I began by reading your "poor christian reasoning" chapter and was very disapointed. Not only did you commit MANY of the same faults for which you heavily(and very harshly) blame christians,


First, I don't blame Christians for faults.  I point out that people on both sides of the debate commit logical fallacies and that it's important for people to avoid them.  All of the examples are of Christian speakers because the point of the chapter is to educate the reader against what he might hear when discussing religion.  It is the opinion of the writer that I'm too harsh on Christians, but I point out several times in the book that I do not place blame on the individuals, but on society as a whole.  Second, we will see if it can be demonstrated that I "commit MANY of the same faults" of which I accuse Christians of making.


 but in the very next chapter you base almost everything on some form of circular reasoning.


Where?  Why not provide examples?  Assertions do not make arguments on their own.  What conclusions are reached on circular reasoning?


 I tried to read further, I really did, but your hypocrisy


If I am guilty of hypocrisy, we will see below.


and lack of any TRUE evidence bogged me down.


What is wrong with the evidence provided?  Why is it not "TRUE"?


I have included a list of just a few of the faults I noticed below.

In the very first paragraph you say, "illogical attributes of Christianity itself ", before you have made any attempt to show evidence, you are already trying to sway your readers your way.


Before I have made any attempt to show evidence?  It's in the fourth chapter.  Arguments for how Christianity thrives through ignorance, how it is observed in our region by chance, and a few sporadic examples of biblical error have already been discussed to this point.  Even if it were the very first sentence in the book, it doesn't matter that it would be proceeded by nothing.  It's part of the entire thesis of the work.  Perhaps the writer does not have experience in reading or writing argumentative papers, but it's practical (and one might say necessary) to state your position on an issue before presenting the evidence to support your thesis.  This exercise is something that most people learn in grade school while writing standard five paragraph essays that have an introductory paragraph for presenting three main ideas to support a position.


This is a clear violation of the fourth paragraph of the "smoke and mirrors" section.


Well, this isn't true for two reasons.  First, as I described above, it is proper to do so.  Second, the paragraph to which the writer alludes discusses the ad hominem logical fallacy.  As I discussed in the book, this is an attack against the opposite viewpoint by using insults or threats that are unrelated to the veracity of the viewpoint.  "Christianity has illogical attributes" is not an attack on the followers of Christianity.  It is an assertion that is later supported by examples over the next few chapters.  Whether or not the supporting material is accurate is irrelevant to whether or not the assertion "Christianity has illogical attributes" is logically fallacious.  It is clear that the writer just doesn't fully know what an ad hominem is.

In the first paragraph of the "baseless assertions" section, you state "A christian might say, 'The crucifixion is a historical fact because no one has found any documents conspiring to invent the story.'", however I have NEVER heard someone say that to be used as a fact.


Two more things are wrong here.  Perhaps the writer should have gone back and read the introduction, which stated:


I will support examples of these poorly developed techniques with hypothetical religious arguments in order to reinforce the often-confusing explanations. (emphasis mine)


Hypothetical, for those who do not know, means that I do not claim that it has been offered (even though I know that it actually has been used because I've read it in more than one online forum).  Also, whether or not the writer has "NEVER heard someone say that to be used as a fact" is irrelevant to whether or not it has actually been used, if that were the level of proof required for me to make the statement.


 They MIGHT use it as evidence(and I have ALWAYS heard it used with other evidence,


Again, it is a hypothetical example.  I will also agree to the point that most often it is used with over evidence and not as a stand-alone proof.


if you have an example of a noteworthy christian speaker, please contact me with that information).


Whether or not it has been used by a noteworthy Christian speaker is irrelevant to whether or not I can use it as a hypothetical example.  Even if I had claimed that it had been used, the writer would be committing the Moving the Goalposts fallacy by setting a goal beyond what I actually need to reach in order to prove my point, since he requests a noteworthy speaker.  Still, this sentence can be interpreted (and probably should be interpreted) as just a simple request for an example of a noteworthy Christian speaker using it, and not a demand to prove my point.  In such a case, I do not know of a noteworthy Christian speaker who has used it.


Furthermore, as I've stated before, the purpose of the chapter is to use illustrations to help explain confusing definitions of logical fallacies.  It wouldn't do much good for me to include some long, drawn-out, thoughtful discussions that contained these examples since it’s not the point of the chapter.


 You go on to make this view look incredibly stupid(which, I grant you, it is), but then you make it look like a common christian act. You never say it, but you imply it heavily.


How do I heavily imply that it is a common Christian act when I state that the examples in the chapter are hypothetical?  If the writer would have paid attention to the introductory material instead of attacking it, perhaps he would not have made this series of blunders.  Just for the reference of future readers, this chapter is not an attempt to beat Christian arguments; it is an example of logical fallacies that might be used by a person in an argument.

In paragraph three of the "baseless assertions" section you adress the "recorded history" point, but you miss the whole point. You state that the mere fact that it is in recorded history makes it fact, wereas no one I have ever seen has made that absurd claim. The point most people make is that it is harder to prove wrong do to the overwhelming amount of copies of the new testament found.


Again, it is a hypothetical example, so how can I miss the point of a hypothetical argument that I invented?  Again, what difference does it make whether or not the writer has seen someone make it?  Yes, most Christians only use this line of reasoning as supporting evidence and not proof, but I recall someone once actually making this argument.  I even go as far as stating that it can be used to support a position, but it does not rise to the level of proof.  Perhaps the writer needs to step back and think of the world outside of well-researched articles he reads on the Internet.  People make all sorts of crazy claims.

I could go on and on and on.


I would prefer that writers not go on and on and on if they are not going to make an attempt to understand what is stated.


 If you wish me to I will review the two chapters mentioned above fully, however I do not currently have the time or desire to do so. I will just say that I noticed the majority of your "proof", is anything but proof.


Where?  Why not provide examples?  Assertions do not make arguments on their own.  Chapter four is not at all about evidence or "proof" of the Bible's lack of veracity.  Please demonstrate that, anywhere in chapter five, I have said that something has been "proven," other than the fact that there is not a solid layer of sky.  What I have offered is evidence.  There is a difference between proof and evidence.  If the evidence is faulty, explain why.  Assertions do not make arguments.


 In chapter 5 you use alot of the "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" talk.


Where?  Why not provide examples?  Assertions do not make arguments on their own.  Please demonstrate where I have committed the fallacy of confusing correlation with causation.  I may have done so.  I do not know, and I will never know as long as people only assert.


 You make many many claims against christianity that are very blind and devoid of proof.


Where?  Why not provide examples?  Assertions do not make arguments on their own.  How are they "blind"?  How does one obtain "proof" for a negative?  Perhaps the writer would like to explain how this is not an attempt to shift the burden of proof.


 You seem to like to use scientific termonoligy to cloud the readers mind into thinking you know what you are saying.


Where?  Why not provide examples?  Assertions do not make arguments on their own.  How can you get into my head and know what I'm attempting to do?  How can you demonstrate that I don't know what I'm saying.  Please provide examples of passages in which I don't know what I'm saying.  I'll either explain it better or admit that I don't know what I was saying.


 You also bash the people who sent in other "letters of disaproval".


Many people in the letters of appreciation section bash the letters of disapproval, and it is their right and my right to do so.  Most are full of absurd claims, and very few are reasonable arguments.  Still, I do not attempt to "bash" anyone.  I wish to point out erroneous arguments offered against my work.  Every now and then, someone demonstrates that I've made a mistake, and I like to point that out as well.


 You refer to one as a basketcase


If I "refer to one as a [basket case]," it is my right to do so since the writer approached me with the most erratic, nonsensical, grammatically nightmarish letter I've ever had the displeasure of reading.  This is referring to the second letter on the page, and I will leave it to the readers to form their own opinions about the mental state of the person who wrote it.  I admit it sounds harsh, and I would probably not do it again, but I was primarily referring to the different types of religious individuals that have been categorized before.


when such was not the case,


I wish the writer would demonstrate how an opinion, based on subjective terminology, is wrong.


 and one as gullible simply because he did not hold your beliefs.


Again, it is my right to do so, but I did not do so "because he did not hold [my] beliefs."  I did so primarily because I caught him submitting an urban myth passed around the Christian community without first checking the legitimacy of the claim.  It is extremely easy to do so.  He also used the "radioactive decay and fossil layers are circular reasoning" argument.  Gullible people tend to do these things, and I feel safe in categorizing a person as such.  Still, I admit it sounds harsh, and I would probably not do it again.


 Like I said, I do not wish to make baseless accusations and if you want more examples, or examples of statements made in the last paragraph e-mail me and I will be more than happy to give them to you.


I have sent the email and will attach the remainder of points raised onto the original letter.


 I am grateful that you are trying to help people out, I just wish you would lose the anti-christian view you seem to love to use in a manner way to loud to make your works presentable.


Again, I am not anti-Christian, I am anti-Christianity.  I know many people find that this comes off too loud in my work.  This is a reasonable opinion, and one that I respect.


 I did like many parts of you work, I just kept hitting brick walls and kept finding it harder to believe you everytime you slandered christianity for no aparent reason. I believe if you toned down your book it would have much more mass apeal and I for one would readily read it.



Again, I appreciate the opinion, but you can't please everyone all the time.




Update: After two weeks, the writer has not sent me any examples despite the promise to do so.  I will remove this line and post them if the writer sends them.




The following is actually taken from a letter of appreciation, but I think it deserves public comment.


I contacted James P. Holding of tektonics.com to show him your article.  He responded with a link that seemed to decimate many (not all) of your points in your book.  What's more, he even said that he asked you to rebut his refutation but that you made excuses as to why you couldn't(!). 


If this is true, this is very disappointing.


Is he lying?  If not, where is the courage of your convictions?





I would encourage readers to take anything that Robert Turkel (a.k.a. James Patrick Holding) says with a handful of salt.  What an honest apologist would do, after receiving M's email, is simply tell the truth.  Turkel is known to tell lies and partial truths in exchanges, and he has apparently done so yet again.  Turkel knows that I've published a response to his article, but he will not tell visitors this unless he feels that he needs to.  Turkel has even placed a response at the bottom of his original article to my rebuttal.  Thus, Turkel is well aware that I have rebutted part of his refutation and that this rebuttal is available online at my website.  The notion that I made excuses as to why I couldn't respond to his refutation is an outright lie.  What many readers don't know about Turkel is that, in addition to his history of lying, he will not link to those with opposite viewpoints when he discusses them.  If he did so, he knows that his readers are much more likely to actually read the opposite viewpoint.  If they actually read the opposite viewpoint, then he knows that he is much less likely to get away with the tactics that he practices.  These tactics are well documented by others (see the links provided in my response), and we see Turkel putting them into play when writing his critique of my book.


At no point has Turkel ever approached me about the article he wrote regarding my book, so there's obviously no way that Turkel "asked [me] to rebut his refutation" or that I "made excuses as to why [I] couldn't."  I received word of Turkel's article from an anonymous email sent several months ago, but weeks after he claims to have written it.  I think this adequately puts the notion that Turkel asked me to rebut his refutation to rest.


As far as his response to my work goes, Turkel refuses to link to it, quotes me out of context, ignores portions of an argument to which he chooses to respond, appeals to authority, argues by assertion, makes ad hominem attacks, and invokes all sorts of fallacious logic, most notably the straw man.  For instance, in his rebuttal to my response to his comments on the public prayer contradiction, he takes two indefensible steps.  First, he tries to make it sound as though I need 1 Timothy 2:8 to mean that we have to pray non-stop when I only need it to show that "praying everywhere" means it's okay to pray in public.  Second, he accuses me of ignoring a supposed qualifier in Matthew 6:5 that allows public prayer while he completely ignores the meaning of Matthew 6:6, which has Jesus ordering people to pray in private because hypocrites pray in public.  There is no point in debating a person like Turkel who will not address the points raised.  In another statement, "The God Jason Long wanted came with a key on its back and did what it was told; and when he didn't get it, he threw a temper tantrum."  When Turkel decides to end these practices, he will earn more of my attention. 


Seeing as how I was well aware in advance of Turkel's methods, I knew that a complete and thorough response, which would have taken months to assemble, would have fallen on no one's ears.  The short response that I provided took two or three days because I like to make sure that everything is complete and thorough.  Unlike Turkel, I don't churn out work full of assertions, appeals to authority, faulty assumptions, and grammatical mistakes.  I can demonstrate Turkel's behavior to my readers more thoroughly than what I did in my rebuttal, but this is not the point of the work.  My book was designed to help people within the Christian faith, but Turkel will not allow it to reach his readers.  I link to Turkel's article and will allow all of my readers to see Turkel's response because I'm confident that he does more harm than good to the Christian faith, but if Turkel feels that my work is equally poor, why does he not let his readers see my response?  According to Turkel, "because it gives small minded people something to complain about."




What a waste.


Criticism is more effective if constructive in some manner.





Mr. Long,

    I recently stumbled across your website, and I read the article entitled "The Darker Side of God", and I was startled to read your opinion. However, it seems to me from this article that your reasoning is leaving out some very critical truths that the Bible provides, and the lessons we learn from the stories you mentioned. Agreed, one who hasn't read the Bible would be startled at these accounts, but when one takes into consideration the whole message the Bible provides, and what we know about God, they actually are more clear than you portray them.


Fair enough.  Let us see if they are part of a larger message.


    Why does God seemingly attack and brutally kill innocent people? How can a perfect God command His people to do such a thing? I had the same reaction you had when I first read. However, in order to understand anything the Bible teaches, we have to go back to square one. When God originally created the world, it was perfect. Adam had it made, but when Eve succumbed to temptation, he was right there with her. This and Satan's fall get the ball rolling. Due to their sin, not God's doing, has death and all the problems God promised them before banishment come into being.


I'll begin with the problem of blaming Adam and Eve.  First, Adam and Eve did not know good from evil because they had not yet eaten of the fruit.  If one cannot tell good from evil, then one has no way of knowing what is right and wrong.  While one can understand that good is right and evil is wrong, one cannot apply what is right or wrong without first knowing what is good and evil.  Adam and Eve could not have known that obeying God was good and that disobeying God was evil.  The story presupposes that they had this knowledge and were appropriately punished for not acting properly.  Furthermore, God, being omniscient, knew that this was going to happen to the beings the he created entirely by himself.  Thus, Adam and Eve had no chance of escaping their fate.  Second, and much more briefly, I hope we see that it is unethical to punish a person for something that their ancestor has done.  I have covered this to the best of my ability in the book and feel no need to expand on the matter further.  The world is exactly how God created it, envisioned it, and knew it would become.  If he is displeased with how things turned out, he need look no further than himself.


 Now, we see that man and angel have opted to go outside of the boundaries God provided to protect them from Hell. When God created man, He created man in His likeness. The only thing man and angel seem to have in common with God that no other life has is free will. God relinquished His absolute authority so we all may make our own decisions. This is the basis of my argument. Man's fall was due to man's decisions, you seem to claim that God cornered mankind. I'll get to that part later.


Very little of the chapter speaks about the need to punish and correct humankind.  The topic is usually killing innocent people for something that someone else did.  I've also adequately dispelled, to the best of my ability, the notion of freewill and omniscience coexisting.  In short, if God knows all, he knows what we are going to do.  Further, if God knows what we are going to do, we must do this or God would be wrong.  Since God cannot be wrong, we have no other choice but to do what he has already envisioned.


Also, I found the reasoning here to be absurd.  It's about the same as telling someone to stand on one foot while touching his nose or be killed.  As those are the rules to save one's self from being murdered, it's one's own fault if one goes outside of the boundaries provided.  The standard is not reasonable.  It's basically imprisonment and duress.  "Do what I say or be tortured."


So why do I feel that God was justified in His actions? Because He covered all HIs bases.


That's kind of vague.


Take for instance Sodom and Gomorrah. You feel that they were unjustly punished? Well, lets look at the facts. I will use the Bible only to prove my point, for I am not arguing about the existence of God, but the validity of the Bible.


Well, this begs the question of the God's existence, not to mention the Bible's validity, but I'll allow it at the present for the sake of argument.


We know that all men are descendants of Adam, so therefore the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are in the family of Adam, along with Lot, Abraham, and all of mankind. So, we know from God favoring Abraham and Lot that some form of religion was passed down. There may not have been a need for written instruction, for some religions are thousands of years old, and have yet to make an official "holy book". The descendents of Adam did have encounters with God, for He appeared to Cain after he murdered his brother, and Enoch was reportedly drawn up to Heaven body and spirit. So not only do we have proof of religion, but proof of encounters with God Hmself. We can only conclude that someone down the line not only rejected their religion, but also came up with their own.


How do personal experiences amount to proof?  Where is the evidence?  Since anyone can just say that he saw God face to face, and since anyone can make a similar claim in support of any belief, evidence of the claim is required in order to expect one with a critical mind to accept it.  Again, just as a reminder, this proof relies on begging the question of the Bible's authenticity.


Should God have to apperear before every generation in order to ensure the life of our faith? Certainly not, for you yourself admitted that God hasn't apperared for a long while, yet the faith endures.


I agree that it is unnecessary for God to appear in order to maintain the religion, but that's not really the point.  The point is that some people will consider the matter critically and expect evidence of such extraordinary claims.  How do we know we are angering god "A" who exists, but not god "B" who does not exist?  If we are to just take the matter on faith, why should we give credibility to one religion over another?  Simply saying that we should believe because he appeared to those before us is not an answer.  Anyone can, and often did, make such a claim.


    So why does God punish the descendants of wicked people, who haven't had the opportunity to be Jewish? Why are children killed. Looking at God's nature, we'll see clearly. The Bible claims God is perfect, meaning He has no flaw, He is perfectly good, meaning He has no evil in Him. If He is also omnipresent, this means He displaces all evil perfectly with no remnant remaining. Pagan people produce pagan offspring. It's that simple.


What?  So far, this answers nothing.  God can't do evil because God is perfect, and we know that the God is perfect because the Bible says so?


You also seem to be concerned as to why children are killed along with the adults. The God that killed them is the same God who created them and all other things. God is omniscent, He knows who is wicked and who isn't.


This doesn't solve anything.  Assuming God is omniscient, he knows that people of other religions cannot help believe what they believe.  They believe just as much as God's followers do because that's what they've been taught.  Being the creator does not give him an ethical right to kill innocent people, nor does it automatically grant him a title of morality.  Two parents create a child, yet they cannot do as they please with it because they might do things that are immoral.  Furthermore, God kills people for explicitly stated purposes that indicate their innocence.  It can't always be explained away by God having known their supposed wickedness.


Due to man's fall from grace, our life on this earth is temporary. There is a better place, a paradise that lies in wait for us when we pass on. If the children are too young to make their own rational decisions, that also means they couldn't possibly blatantly disobey God's commands. No harm, no foul. If they did nothing wrong, God could not possibly punish them for they haven't disobeyed the way a rational thinking adult would.


Yet he punishes Adam and Eve when they had no ability for rational thinking, as I demonstrated before.  Aside from the contradiction in reasoning here, drowning children but not sending them to hell because they knew no better isn't an ethical compromise.  One must demonstrate, apart from begging the question of God's omnibenevolence, that God cannot do evil.  The actions, as they stand on their own, most certainly appear to be.


 They must be in Heaven to this very day. It was actually merciful, for they have skipped over all the hardships and problems you and I must face every day.


If I murdered someone in order to save them from this earth and send them straight to heaven, is it merciful?  If not, why do we apply this reason to an entity just because it is of superior quality?  Remember, we cannot beg the question of God's perfection.


 Why such a viscious death? You've got me there, but in the book of Romans, Paul proclaims "Who can seperate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution, or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'Because of You we are being put to death all the day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered' No, in these things are we more than victorious threugh Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither life nor death, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!" (Rom. 8:35-39) Paul is emphasizing that the suffering of this world are nothing compared to eternity. This can also be likened to the parable Christ Himself tells in the book of Matthew, where a man digs a hole and finding treasure, reburies it and sells all he has to buy the plot of land where it was buried (Matt 13:44)


Paul's apologies cannot justify God's actions.  This is circular reasoning.  It's also irrelevant whether or not God loves the people he murders.  The morality of God's actions are what are in question here.  Why should we presuppose that God is good and try to explain his actions only within the boundaries of our presupposition?


    Why would God command HIs people to murder others in order to claim the promised land? Couldn't He have just moved them? Couldn't they share? No, this relates to Gods perfect standards. "Be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect" (Matt 5:48). And, "For the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23). This was not only a blessing for the Israelites, but judgement for the Caananites. God judges the nation of Israel in the same way later on. So we see that by using scripture alone, we can validate Gods actions.


Well, I don't think I can allow the circular reasoning to continue.  Why not just say "God is perfect" instead of submitting a long apology in God's defense?  One is just as logical as the other.  If God is perfect and omnibenevolent, then of course, these actions are justifiable.  However, I see no reason to make such an assumption.


 Furthermore, the Israelites had to be punished when they made the idol when Moses went up on the mountain to recieve the law a second time, for God gave them the law before! How could you defend the Israelites, they had been given the commandments by Moses, and they saw the presence of God! Look in Exodous ch. 20:1-17 then, in verses 18-19 the story records that they saw the presence of God on Mt. Sinai! What are the first and second commandments? (1) I am the LORD your God, who bought you out of the land of Egypt out of the place of slavery. Do not have any other gods besides me. (2) Do not make and idle for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or in the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers' sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep my commands.


If the story actually took place, then I agree that they should have known they were going to be punished.  The issue I have with this specific situation, however, is that God acts like a ruthless dictator who orders people to worship him and denies them freedom of opinion.  As punishment, he murders them.  Why does God feel the need to inflict mass torture and death because insignificant beings that he made the way they are don't want to worship him?  If apologists would only stop making excuses around their preconceived notions and start appreciating the absurdity of the matter, we could move beyond such useless exchanges.


    Is God too brutal, or are we too compromising regarding sin? What the Bible calls sin, or what man calls bad or evil, is like a disease. If it is left alone, it will grow, ultimately killing or severely injuring its host. A doctor would rather remove a part of one's brain or remove an appendage before he/she allows cancer to kill the patient. God would rather allow some of His creation to be destroyed than to let it destroy all of mankind. Our beating hearts are a testimony of this.


Except that this is a false analogy built upon question begging.  Yes, a doctor would remove part of the brain before allowing cancer to spread to the good part, but the doctor is limited while God is omnipotent.  The doctor has to remove the part because he does not have the ability to correct what has been compromised.  God can choose any avenue he wishes to correct the situation, including getting his creation the way he liked it the first (Adam) or second (Noah) time, but he instead chooses torturous deaths as punishments for insignificant incidents.  This is one reason out of many as to why the analogy does not apply.


 Agreed, God has killed alot of people, but isn't He responsible for all death? He's not a murderer, for you and I know well all men are sinners.


God is not automatically granted freedom from morality because he created us, as I've demonstrated to the best of my ability before; and one is not declared innocent of murder because the victim sinned.


 However, He continued to deal with Israel and all of man so the work could be completed on the cross. Couldn't God have destroyed all of mankind and just forget about it? Sure. Couldn't He have wiped out the whole nation of Israel and subsequently killed our faith? Of course. But, this "selfish, bloodthirsty tyrant" not only continued to strive with those who broke His commands and still allows sinful man to insult, attack, and call Him immature, but He came down on Earth in the form of a homeless man, and further allowed His own creation to mock, lie, and falsly accuse Him, ultimately resulting in the death of God. All of that, and He still loves you and will forgive all that come back to Him. Yep, He's a mean one.


Well, the obvious reason why he doesn't come kill people like me is that we have no good reason to believe that he exists.  Still, simply offering someone a dichotomy of everlasting torture of everlasting happiness with the prerequisite that one must follow certain actions isn't ethical behavior.  What choice would there be in such a situation?  It is absurd, if not for any other reason than, because it conflicts with the freedom to believe as one chooses.


 The problem is, we are too compromising with things that will hinder happiness in our life. We live in a world where pedophiles get probation, and parents no longer are responsible for disciplining their children; now they just have A.D.D.


This is a red herring and an appeal to emotion.


From such a perspective, any one who is insistent upon right and wrong is either mean or crazy. "The world cannot hate you, but it does hate Me because I testify about it-that its deeds are evil" (John 7:7). Why is God this way? The only answer I can give you is one I myself have experienced, and many, many others can tell you the same. As a child, I didn't understand why my parents, and all other authority had so many rules, and why they were so insistent upon them. Now that I am mature, I understand because I have seen the consequences thereof. God, having all knowledge, and being perfectly good, is so strict because He knows what can happen if we lie, cheat, steal, and the such.


Again, this begs the question that God is perfectly good.  If so, then his actions are good as well, and there is no reason to write such a defense.  The parent/child explanation is also a false analogy because there is no correction involved in the majority of the Old Testament.  God becomes angry and murderers people for unethical reasons.  I have demonstrated this already and feel no need to expand on the matter further.


    Which leads me to my conclusion, for we have gone full circle back to Adam and Eve. Why did God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the first place? The serpent in the garden tells us why. "'No! you will not die' the serpent said to the woman. 'in fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil'" (Gen. 3:4-5). He was right, but God has used this seeming tragedy to actually give man more, and a more full understanding of His ways and life. We have gained a somewhat knowledge of God, but we recieved it too prematurely to adequately use it. This in turn has caused man to fall instead of grow.


That's certainly one interpretation of the story, but it doesn't provide a reason for God's cruelty.


 We have lost billions due to this mistake, but through Christ we who have chosen to obey Him will all be repaid for our losses. For with our finite knowledge and sight, we can't see the outcome of different situations, and we can't discern whether something is good or bad until we actually screw up. So we see through simple logic that Gods commands are the metal detector in this spiritual mine field we call human reasoning. We can't see enough to decide on our own that which is good or bad.


The problem with this line of reasoning, as I've mentioned in response to a previous letter, is that it presupposes that God is good and all things he's done must be good.  It's the same as battered wife syndrome.  These women presuppose that their husbands love them and that they are beaten out of love.  The correct way to determine whether one is good or bad is to evaluate the actions and render a decision based on collected observations.  The incorrect way is to start with the conclusion and find justification for the observations.


 So, by owning up to the responsibility that has been given to us, and learning to read the Bible in its entirety can we use this divine gift. For Christianity is no where close to a crutch as some assume. Our faith calls us to stand on our own two feet, and being able to go against the grain, knowing that we will have face a God who knows all and sees all, and won't let anything slide, nor can we bargain or out-wit Him. If we fail, we face an adversary that has shown Himself to be brutal, unforgiving, and impossible to defeat. He has given us His requirements, and there are no excuses.

    I have not read your book yet, but I will be looking for it in the bookstore. I appreciate your opinion, because it has pushed me to see things in a new light. If I have commented on any thing that you have covered in your book, please excuse me.


Thank you for your time,



Again, the overwhelming bulk of this letter presupposes that God is good from the beginning, begs the question that the Bible is an authentic divine work, and invokes circular reasoning in the defense of these beliefs. If these presuppositions were simply granted as being true, there would be no need to write the letter.




Dr. Long,

I have attached a link that all doubting christians may want to take a look at along with your website. It is only fair that they hear both sides of the story, both with a scientific viewpoint. I'm not saying this is the authoritative word, but its a starting point.http://creationevidence.org


Thanks again,



I'm all for Christians viewing both sides of the debate.  I encourage them to do so in the book and provide links here on the webpage.  However, I was skeptical of posting a letter that had the sole intent to advertise.  Furthermore, this site is just unusually bad even for apologetics.  The evidence on the front page is mostly concerning the Pauxley river findings, which have long been debunked by scholars and abandoned by most apologists.  I feel that one need look no further than the ten evidences for creationism to show the lack of substance.  The author uses anomalous studies that have long since been repeated and corrected.  I address most of points 2, 3, and 4 in my book, but all of them are covered more thoroughly at the talk.origins archive.  If one wishes to view the most up-to-date creationist material, I recommend true origin, Christian thinktank, or answers in genesis.




Hi Dr Long (if this is actually getting through to a real person ;)),


I'm fascinated by your web site. Particularly so due to the contradictions and tensions it displays about your own life. 


This should be interesting.


In your conclusion, you invite response to your claims. Unfortunately, I've got little time to go through your entire site right now. One or two items immediately piqued my interest and were easily refuted; at this point I'm left with the impression (hopefully wrong!) that you have had a need to substantiate your own lack of understanding, and thus are satisfied with repeating weak arguments designed to make God look bad to those who are not themselves willing to invest serious effort into the investigation. 


The writer's borderline ad hominem opinion is one possibility.  The other is that apologetic claims are weak excuses for a predetermined conclusion made by people who have had the notion of the existence of a perfect god imbedded in their minds from childhood.  Let us see who can demonstrate what.


By way of preface to a couple of possibly substantial thoughts, I noticed a statement in your conclusion where you require counter arguments to be "probable" solutions. I'm left wondering how that should be defined? You seem to discount anything supernatural from "probability." To me, that's illogical. If God exists, then supernatural causes are probable. And by definition they will not be (fully) subject to human or even standard physical analysis. How are we to define "probable" in such a situation? 


"Probable" in this sense should be defined as the most likely explanation for a question.  If the Bible has an apparent conflict, is it more likely that it is the result of human error, or is the explanation of the apparent conflict more likely to be the author's intent?  Until we have evidence that anything in the supernatural exists, it is only appropriate to consider it improbable.  If God is supernaturally altering a scientific experiment to provide different results, or if magical unicorns are altering a scientific experiment to provide different results, we have no way of knowing.  We can observe one as much as the other.  If we beg the question of God's existence, or the existence of magical unicorns, then supernatural explanations become probable.  Since we can plead for the existence of any supernatural entity we wish, we must first prove that one exists before attributing it to data gathered through observation.


On to my responses.


First, the item that initially piqued my interest: your statements about Job and the Ostrich. My wife's a naturalist, so I'm always on the lookout for good bird stories. Your "proofs" fall quite flat in the face of knowledgable field analysis. A quick search provided a good reference for further study: 


Job and the Ostrich: A Case Study in Biblical Accuracy



Where do I offer "proofs," and where do I say that the ostrich story is "proof" of human authorship?  There's a reason, called an appeal to authority, as to why I don't simply reply back with a link that disagrees with this link.  Taken from chapter four:


You should make an important discrepancy between this logical fallacy and the referencing of an authority on a given subject. If the speaker sufficiently explains the authority’s position, the proposal then becomes an acceptable supplementary argument. Cutting the debate short by exclaiming things like “you just need to read this book by John Q. Public” isn’t a satisfactory procedure because two speakers citing books back and forth all day would accomplish nothing.


If there is something particularly compelling about the article, let the writer present it.  Otherwise, as in the example, nothing will be accomplished.


Second, the section about women in the Bible is fallacious from start to finish.


This is an assertion without any attempt at proof beyond the appeal to authority below.  Since the writer only addresses one small portion of the chapter, I wonder how he has come to the conclusion that it is "fallacious from start to finish."


 In Genesis, God's not _angry_ at them but _sad_!


Assuming this is true, and without begging the question of God's omnibenevolence, exactly how does this change whether or not God is going to treat them as inferiors?


There's a whole lesson to be learned about the desire/rule-over issue ("desire" is as a lion after its prey!) -- broken version: she wants to rule over him, he actually rules over her; fixed (Ephesians) version involves mutual submission.


In other words, the Bible says something it didn't mean in Genesis.  Ephesians is the most common defense submitted against the argument that women are to be inferior.  First, however, why is the New Testament "fixed?"  This certainly implies that the Old Testament is "wrong."  Why can God not get his ideas across properly the first time?  Second, how does one arrive at that translation of "desire" and "rule over?"  What in the original language indicates that this should be translated in such a way? To be consistent, if a woman should desire her husband like a lion desires its prey, shouldn't we also suggest that the prey rules over the lion?  It's hardly an appropriate analogy.  We're not talking about a lion and its prey; we're talking about God declaring that one gender is going to rule over the other.


Although the idea that women are to be submissive to men is nearly universally consistent throughout the Bible, apologists like to reference a passage in Ephesians that supposedly corrects the problem.  It does not succeed, as I will show, but even if it did, how does one explain the remainder of passages that support female subordination?  Ephesians 5:21, which I will assume is to what the writer refers, states "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."  There are several problems with using this as an equal rights argument.  First, Paul addresses a general audience in his letters.  When he wants to address specific roles, he will say so.  He does this three times in the next few verses.  As you will see in the NIV, there is a topic change from verse 21 to 22.  After addressing the general population and telling them to submit to each other, as a message of general kindness, he addresses wives, husbands, and children specifically, beginning in verse 22.  Wives are to submit to husbands in everything, as husbands must submit to Christ.  Husbands are to love their wives as they love themselves.  Paul had the perfect opportunity to say that husbands should submit to their wives, if this was what he intended in verse 21, but he did not do so.  Furthermore, if he meant for husbands and wives to submit to each other, why was he redundant with just the wives?  There is obviously no mutual submission here.  Paul is consistent with his bigotry of women in his other works, and there is no reason to believe that he promoted equality between the sexes.


An in-depth discussion of every one of the "women" notes, and much more, can be found at




(The same site has many other valuable discussions, including an extensive one on slavery which refutes the "nonsense" page on that topic.)


Again, this is an appeal to authority.  If there is something particularly compelling about the article, let the writer present it.  Otherwise, I'll just a post a link to a page that disagrees with that page, and we'll accomplish nothing.


Third, the examination of science and the Bible is equally atrocious. Your argument seems to be based on the idea that people's _conversational_ use of language will follow precise rules of scientific observation and nomenclature. That's ridiculous! My wife is an expert in various areas of biology, but she long ago gave up trying to use latin bird/flower/etc names in conversation with me. And I've got a good science background ;)


What?  This is extremely vague.  Conversational use of language?  How do scientifically erroneous facts in the Bible gain immunity from scientific scrutiny by being conversational?  Scientific claims are made.  They are either wrong or right.  If they are allegorical or figurative, one should demonstrate how we are able to differentiate figurative passages from literal passages.  One cannot simply claim that something is figurative if scientifically inaccurate.  This begs the question of the Bible's perfection.  Furthermore, what does scientific nomenclature have to do with anything we're discussing?


There's a great book recently published, which outlines in a VERY science-friendly way both naturalistic and supernaturalistic theories of life's origins. It then uses current peer-reviewed journal publications to assess the state of our knowledge...with devastating effect to proponents of naturalistic origins. Life as we know it is not just improbable. It is physically _impossible_. (We're talking nothing-to-life here, not bacteria-to-humans.) See 


"Origins of Life" by Ross and Rana.


Again, this is an appeal to authority.  If there is something particularly compelling about the book, let the writer present it.  It's a wonder that these authors don't submit their claims to the scientific community and win a Nobel prize by becoming the people who overthrew the cornerstone of modern biology.  I've read refutations of abiogenesis, and they're sorely lacking.  Studies have demonstrated transitions from molecules to amino acids, amino acids to proteins, proteins to prions, and so forth.  This supposed boundary between non-life and life is not as definitive as were taught in years ago in school.  As for going from "nothing" to life, one cannot say how "nothing" becomes "something" for reasons I've discussed in previous letters.  We cannot say it is "impossible" because we have no point to start with before the universe.  All premises are universal constructs, which begs the question of the universe and renders the proof epistemologically meaningless.  It's also quite absurd to suggest that something is "impossible" unless it's on the basis that it is logically impossible.  After all, God could have created life the exact way described by biologists.  Going back to the beginning of this letter, we now see a double standard.


So there we have it. Ostriches, Women, Slaves, Science. On all counts, the "expose" provided on your site appears quite weak.


I'd be quite disappointed if someone considered my site weak on the basis of two assertions without evidence, three appeals to authority, one mischaracterization, and two specifics that I've addressed quite thoroughly.  One will see what one feels comfortable seeing, I suppose.


Are there other areas of your investigation that you feel may be particularly strong? I'd love to have a challenge worth some serious new reflection over time! 


Below I provide a bit of feedback on the site's concluding notes. But in the meantime I pray for all...


I'll let the previous two lines speak for themselves.


You ask

" ...any readers who still stubbornly insist that Christianity is the one true religion to allow others, including their children, to observe their own religious beliefs without fear of punishment or disappointment from you. If the truth is strong enough, it will find them."


Yes, many people misunderstand God's love.


Yes, many people misunderstand Allah's love and his desire for not wanting others to read the Bible because it's blasphemous.  This argument is equally valid because it presumes the authority of a book and the existence of the deity in question.  In other words, the writer's statement is logically fallacious.


If we could place your request in the context of a more familiar reality, I hope you will understand why what you've said sounds a bit wierd to me. Following Jesus is not about "religion" but about a love relationship. I hope you've heard that idea stated many times in your life. So, here is your statement, in that light: 


Following Muhammad is not about "religion" but about a love relationship with Allah.  This argument is equally valid because it presumes the authority of a subject and the veracity of the subject as a deity's speaker.  In other words, the writer's statement is logically fallacious.


" ...any readers who still stubbornly insist that Christianity is the one true love relationship to allow others, including their children, to maintain their own (separate) love relationships without fear of punishment or disappointment from you. If your love is strong enough, it will find them."


Again, this begs the question that God's love is the correct love and a necessary love.  It is also a false analogy for more reasons than I care to cover.


Imagine a father who is madly in love with his wife and children. But his children do not love him in return. Would we expect him, or his wife, to have no disappointment in children who harbor no love for their Dad?


The actions indicating the father's love are observable.  A parent's love for a child is widely observed, where as a supposed supernatural love from God is just as observable as a supernatural love from any other entity.  This continues along the same fallaciousness.


Or suppose one's spouse is unfaithful, continuously wandering off into adulterous relationships...would we expect there to be no consequences of any kind? 


Again, this is a false analogy for a number of reasons.  First, the two lovers came to an agreement, where as God forces his counterpart to love him or face a severe punishment.  Second, the consequences of adultery are not the same as the consequences for shunning God.  The former is paltry in comparison to the latter.  This also continues along the line of question begging God's existence and love.


You also write:

"learn to rely on observable and testable evidence when examining religious claims."


Have you studied the origins of the scientific method? I've been amazed at the wisdom of the guy who invented it. Among other things, he knew that the  "book of God's works" (i.e. the physical universe) can only be understood with humility


Since the opinions of the person who derived the scientific method are irrelevant to the veracity of the scientific method itself, this is a red herring.  It's also absurd to suppose that findings such as "atoms combine to form molecules" can only be understood with humility.  How is humility necessary to determine fact from fiction or right from wrong?


It's preposterous for the created to imagine that we can observe and test every aspect of reality!


Really?  How so?  Is not reality by definition what is?  How is it impossible to observe and test our surroundings?  Are there things we can't know yet?  Absolutely.  Are there things we may never know?  Absolutely.  Does this mean we can't reasonably eliminate logically absurd possibilities and suggestions like magical unicorns, the god of the Bible, and any other countless possibilities raised by countless individuals over the years?  Why use a supernatural explanation when it is not testable?  Better yet, why use a supernatural explanation when a natural one will do?


And even more so when it comes to the supernatural.


If the writer provides one solid reason why we should consider the supernatural as an explanation for something in the natural world, this will change naturalistic philosophy as we know it.


"One day, perhaps, we can all peacefully coexist."


IMHO, that won't happen until we eliminate greed and evil desires for total domination. Neither of those (greed, evil) are promoted by Christianity. I think you're barking up the wrong tree by a long shot.


This is a matter of interpretation.  As I've said before, contemporary Christianity is usually Salad Bar Christianity, picking and choosing from the Bible and ignoring the rest.  Depending on what you choose and leave behind, this might be a good practice, as long as one does not simply submit the Bible as reasoning for an opinion.  I can provide several examples of the Bible preaching its followers to carry out acts of greed and evil.  What one believes Christianity does and should be is often entirely different than what is actually written.  In fact, one of the basic instructions of the New Testament is to tell the world that they will suffer for eternity unless they take a specific avenue to reach paradise.  This very idea has sparked a number of groups to commit acts of greed and evil under the idea that they were practicing Christianity.  Why does the Bible not teach a consistent message?


 A very engaging read in this general topic, that also provides tremendous insight into the challenges of India, can be found in: 


The Quest for Freedom and Dignity: Caste, Conversion and Cultural




Again, if submitted as an argument, this is an appeal to authority.





[Note: The following is taken from a letter (with my subsequent comments) written regarding a previous response I posted on this page.  Since I took a great deal of time to form that response, only to hear nothing back, I feel that it's only right to include it here.]


You have conflated appeals to _legitimate_ authority (which carry much value) with appeals to _illegitimate_ authority, which have no value. Is it your position that a publication should only be valued by those who directly discover and read it?  

No, I state just the opposite in the book.  Appeals to authority that meet certain criteria (such as those you submitted) can be used as evidence.  It does not mean that something is necessarily true, as I'm guessing you either knew or have since caught onto.  If one wishes to argue a point, one needs to submit the argument.  If your only argument is that so-and-so person or number of people agree with me, that's a weak argument.  It doesn't even attempt to deal with the evidence.  For instance, recent surveys indicate that about 99% of earth scientists believe that the planet is billions of years old.  I make note of this statistic in the book, but I don't rest my argument there.  It's a legitimate appeal to authority, but I do not offer that the position is right based solely on this statistic.  Even with overwhelming support, I still take a lot of time to explain their arguments and explain why counterarguments are incorrect.  Let me ask you a question so that I can really put you to the test.  The vast majority of scientists report data that consistently yield an age of the earth in the billions of years.  Let's also assume you are a YEC.  How would you feel if I just kept asserting that you were wrong, that you knew nothing on the issue, and that you need to read articles written by legitimate authorities, instead of discussing the issue with you?  That's what you're doing.

Most people I know are willing to cooperate in leveraging/multiplying the value of legitimate knowledge expressed by legitimate experts.

Of course, stating that 80% of experts agree with position A is a valid point.  It does not stand on its own as the ultimate answer.  I'm perfectly aware that the vast majority of experts in the history of the near east will back positions that are beneficial to Christianity/Judaism/Islam.  I would be foolish to think otherwise.  What I hope you realize is that this shouldn't even be considered as evidence in this instance, much less as an adequate argument.  For, this is where bias, as you pointed out in one of your criteria, becomes a major issue.  This refers not only to the bias of the individuals, but the bias of the sample as well.  I'm not going to get to far into this, so I'll be brief.  People who have an interest in pursuing knowledge of the history of Christianity are probably Christians themselves.  If they are Christians, they are more likely to interpret evidence so that it is favorable to Christianity.  (I'm afraid I cannot get into persuasive psychology at this point, so deem me a hypocrite for asserting.)  If 90% of the scholars agree with a position on a dichotomy that favors Christianity, I would make the bet every time that 90% of the scholars came into the field as Christians.  The opinion of such authorities, who began with the conclusion, cannot be trusted simply because they are authorities.  The evidence is what is important.  If we brought in a sample of people who were never exposed to religious conditioning and saw to it that they become experts in near middle east history, I would be extremely confident that it would be almost unanimous that the Bible is bunk.  You just can't trust those with huge emotional investments to be objective on critical issues.  You cannot trust a used car salesman when buying a care; you should trust a consumer report.  You cannot trust an Islamic scholar when studying Islam; you should trust a scholar who had no opinion going in.  You cannot trust a Jewish scholar when studying Judaism; you should trust a scholar who had no set opinion going in.  You cannot trust a mother of an artist when determining which person made the best painting; you should trust an art critic with no knowledge of the artists.  For this reason, I put little stock in the opinions of people who began studying years after they accepted the notion of a talking snake.  If you wish to take objection to anything here, I will be more than happy to elaborate.  Furthermore, apologists and the bunch ignore counterevidence when they find it, or find someway to rationalize it with the Bible.  This practice isn't localized to one religion either.  Muslims, Mormons, Jews, etc will interpret according to their preconceived notions.  The importance of the fact that such adults were indoctrinated with beliefs from childhood cannot be overstated!  How else do multiple religions survive in the age of scrutiny and reason?  So, you must excuse me for wanting authorities, if you must appeal to them, to have no religious preference.  Practice of religion clouds judgment.  Understanding of religion does not.  The problem does not solely apply to religion.  Think of other fields that skeptics consider to be based on myths.  What percentage of people who are UFO experts believe they are flying saucers?  I don't have the statistic, but I bet the vast majority are apologists.  People with such interests will join such fields, entering with the notion that they are flying saucers.  They don't pay much attention to evidence that debunks their beliefs.  They find ways of making it consistent.  They do not like simple explanations for sightings, so they begin with premise that the sighting is authentic, and mold explanations without breaking the premise.  The same goes with Bigfoot, Nessie, yetis, psychics, ESP, ghosts, homeopathy, faith healing, etc.  The believers become the experts.  The people without bias are the ones who have the likely explanations.  People with no interset in the field that take the time to learn both sides will agree.  How would the skeptic like it if I told him to read this and that article on Bigfoot evidence?  The skeptic knows that it is based on myth and that the evidence doesn't support the claims because he has no emotional investment in Bigfoot.  Despite no good evidence, the believer is going to continue believing what he wants to believe.  The Bigfoot enthusiast will not listen to reason because he convinced himself long ago.  To some foreign of humanity, Yahweh and Bigfoot would be no different.  Smart people believe dumb things because they are very gifted at coming up with scenarios that maintain their beliefs.  This is no more of a debate to me than it would be if I were debating Bigfoot.  I see it simply as a matter of exploring the best option to remove the blinders.  Very rarely do we see experts go from skeptic to believer.  John Mack is one in the UFO community.  In the religious community, we have people like Strobel who claim to have been learned atheists, yet they cannot offer a reason for the switch.  Even with years of reinforcement from the environment, the number leaving greatly outweighs the opposite.  I can name you dozens of well-known skeptics who are former Christian apologists that were also ministers with doctorates in religion and near east history.  You just don't see learned skeptics becoming religious.  I could go on forever with this topic, and I do in chapter two/three of the book.  I realize this is getting off topic a little, but I feel it's important when determining whether or not we should accept authorities as authoritative.

It's important to know whether God is _describing_ or _deciding_.  

No, it's irrelevant.  God is in complete control of the creation.  He can decide to punish women into inferiority, assign them into inferiority, declare that they were inferior to begin with, or describe them as being inferior creations.  It makes no difference because God had the opportunity for complete control.  Otherwise, why call him a god?  If God wanted men and women to be equal in society, one must assume that God would say so.  If he wanted women to be superior to men, one must assume that God would say so.  I he wanted men to be superior to women, one must assume that God would say so.  If he did not care, one must assume nothing would be said.  It is clear, however, what God says in the OT.

One of the basic Biblical perspectives is that we have free will.


I will not allow you to beg the question of Biblical perspectives being accurate.  Free will cannot exist with omniscience.  That statement alone would be an assertion, which I am getting tired of.  I don't just make assertions like you do.  I explain them.  Free will indicates that we have the ability to control our future because it has not yet been decided.  If omniscience exists, the future has been envisioned.  If the omniscience is perfect and never wrong, the future must take place as envisioned.  Thus, it has been decided what we are going to do.  We cannot change it, which contradicts free will.  If I practiced the same methods of argumentation as you, I would post some articles written by philosophers that concluded this year ago.  I don't do so because you could do the same with the opposite viewpoint.

And that our spiritual choices carry spiritual consequences just as our temporal choices carry temporal consequences.

This begs the question that there are supernatural elements and, thus, a true distinction.  If there is no supernatural, then spiritual choices carry temporal consequences.

Thus, when Adam and Eve blew it,


I've already explained how Adam and Eve cannot be held accountable for their actions in emails with previous writers.

First, Adam and Eve did not know good from evil because they had not yet eaten of the fruit.  If one cannot tell good from evil, then one has no way of knowing what is right and wrong.  While one can understand that good is right and evil is wrong, one cannot apply what is right or wrong without first knowing what is good and evil.  Adam and Eve could not have known that obeying God was good and that disobeying God was evil.  The story presupposes that they had this knowledge and were appropriately punished for not acting properly.  Furthermore, God, being omniscient, knew that this was going to happen to the beings the he created entirely by himself.  Thus, Adam and Eve had no chance of escaping their fate.  Second, and much more briefly, I hope we see that it is unethical to punish a person for something that their ancestor has done.  I have covered this to the best of my ability in the book and feel no need to expand on the matter further.  The world is exactly how God created it, envisioned it, and knew it would become.  If he is displeased with how things turned out, he need look no further than himself.

their actions automatically resulted in certain consequences. In the passage you cited, it is quite reasonable to read it as God's _description_ of those consequences, rather than as His _prescription_.

So, God was not in control with what was?  He merely described how things were based on the consequences?  That's funny because I thought that God made women and men how they were; and that he had the ability to just say "You're both wrong, but wives shouldn't be ruled by husbands; they should compromise."  One can easily take the passage out of context and say that it's equally likely to be a description or prescription, as if it truly mattered, but to make matters worse for your suggestion, God sure picks a hell of a time for a description - right after they've disobeyed him.  You don't see many superiors going up to their inferiors to give them descriptions of their nature after they've disobeyed them.  What you're suggesting seems to be just another how-it-could-have-been-scenario that doesn't invalidate your preconceived notion that God is loving and would not force one sex to be ruled by another.  You don't want it to be a punishment, so you're not going to see it that way even when context clearly demonstrates that it is.  I'm open to the idea that it's a description, but you have yet to demonstrate this.  If you do, then you can explain how God is exempt from the blame because it's just a description of what the consequences were.

And the description was not one of superiority/inferiority, but of broken relationship:

"He will rule over you."  It does not get clearer than that, so why don't you give me a reason that this is not right?  You just keep asserting your opinion in the form of analogies like the lion and prey that I show cannot be carried out as a full analogy, as an appropriate analogy should necessarily be.  If you have an argument to present as to why it should be translated in such a manner, present it.  Again, no more assertions.

God is describing a badly broken relationship here: BOTH man and woman will be striving to dominate. And the reality is, man will _actually_ dominate. (For many reasons...)


Again, another assertion.  I see nothing to support the notion that man is going to strive to dominate over the woman.  I see a clear declaration from God that man is going to rule over woman immediately after she is discovered to have being the instigator in disobeying a command.  Furthermore, the Bible is consistent in the subordination of women, and this statement is consistent with that notion, as I have detailed in the chapter.  If you will explain these reasons why God allows man to "actually" dominate over woman yet not be the decider of the domination, I would appreciate it.  

Look at the context, look at the words chosen, look at what other similar words _could_ have been chosen but were not, etc. (Of course, we're talking Hebrew here, not English.)

Obvious double standard here in the apologetic community.  When I explain that the earth is shaped like a kadur and not a chug, I hear that the word is sufficient because the intent is clear.  The context is obvious to anyone who does not care about the outcome.  I do not care one way or another whether Genesis 3:16 talks about female subordination.  There are plenty of other verses that show how inferior women were treated.  If all of those are wrong, then there is plenty more wrong with the Bible in science, history, and other sections of morality.  If all of that is wrong, then I'm wrong.  I don't mind.  I've been wrong before.  Apologists just aren't willing to back down one inch from their position because it damages the entire notion of perfection.  Please elaborate on the author's word choice.  Don't assert.  I don't have time to respond to assertions.  Give an argument as to what possiblities there were and the conclusions we should draw from the choice.  I don't know the Hebrew translation of every word in the Bible, so please enlighten me.  From what I see, mashal is consistently used to mean exercising authority or dominion: the sun ruling the day, Abraham ruling his property, Joseph ruling Egypt, several kings ruling their lands, etc. I'm sure there are harsher words, just as there are no doubt lighter ones, but this doesn't take away the fact that God is declaring one person will have dominion over another.  The husband has final authority over the wife, just as kings have authority over their lands, just as Joseph ruled over Egypt, just as Abraham had authority over his property, just as the sun rules over the day.

There are two separate words describing two separate people. The meaning of "Desire" (in this case) happens to be analogous to a lion and its prey. The meaning of "Rule" is completely separate and apart from the meaning of "desire". (In this case, it is a generic "rule" with no implication of "good" or "bad" rule... other words could have been chosen for such meanings.)  

Again, this is an assertion.  Submit your argument on the original Hebrew and why modern texts are mistaken by translating it the way they do.  I have shown how mashal means to have authority over something.  According to my search, 81 times in the OT, meaning rule, reign, dominate, govern, etc.  There is no neutral usage.  When one is granted natural, inherent authority over another, it's bigotry.  No one is suggesting that the husband has the right to treat the wife however he wants.

God was talking about how the woman and man would relate to one another.


No, he was telling woman how she would relate to man.  He was telling man how he would suffer during work.  Yet another perfect opportunity for God to say how husbands should rule together with his wife, yet, according to your take on Ephesians, it takes a man thousands of years later to do so.  Interesting.  As people become more enlightened, according to your opinion, so do the authors.

Are you able to appreciate the value of analogy embedded in the meaning of words?

I'm able to appreciate analogies when they apply.  You've only asserted why it does.  

There's a difference between stating a natural result, and changing the rules. Let's use the simplest interpretation: the universe was already created. God had no need to change the rules. He simply was stating already-existent truth.

A natural result?  What?  Men ruling over women was a natural result?  That's weak.  What does God say?  "Look, women, it's just natural that you're going to be ruled by men.  I could say that this is injust and see that it isn't carried out by using my omnipotence, but I'm not going to change the rules.  Sorry about the millenia of injustice, that's just the way things are."  This trivializes your god in ways I can only begin to imagine.  It's more damaging to the Bible than a bigoted god.  He's a lazy, indifferent one.  He creates an unethical situation knowing full well that women are going to suffer as inferiors for millennia but just isn't going to change the rules because it's what he decided was a natural result.  I could elaborate further on how pathetic that is, but I've already wasted enough time.

Ephesians contains a beautiful understanding of how the consequences of Adam/Eve's sin can be repaired.

I've already explained the absurdity of how Adam and Eve can be blamed for their actions and that we in some form need to correct what they did.  I will agree however that part of Ephesians talks about this "necessity."

Instead of brokenness and mutual attempts to dominate, the man and woman are instructed to each go against their base nature and serve one another in submission.

No, the general population is to serve one another, particularly in worship (which is the topic of the preceding verses).  Husbands and wives, and their roles in those niches, are not yet addressed by Paul.  When he gets to the specific role of a wife and role of a husband, he will say so.

You can get a flavor of this in English by mangling the NASB a little: leave out the periods, and leave out all the italicised words (those are words not found in the original but added for clearer English comprehension.) Then you get:

21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ

22 Wives to your own husbands, as to the Lord...
So, wives go against their desire-to-dominate by subjecting to husbands as to the Lord.

Agreed.  The Greek word is not there.  This does not change anything because the verb is in the previous verse.  Subject to one another.  Women to your husbands.  Husbands love your wives (not "and Husbands to your wives").  It does not say "Husbands to your wives" anywhere because men were not to submit to the wives.  It says nothing of the sort.  Paul was well aware that two people could love each other fully yet have disagreements on certain issues.  He clearly states that men should love their wives as much as possible, yet they are the ones with authority in the matter.  The man makes the final decisions, and this is bigoted.  How many times does the NT say that man is above woman in status?  We see it in Colossians, Titus, and 1 Peter as well.  Even if the NT had corrected everything perfectly, it's hilarious how God made women wait 4000 years before doing so.  Great guy.

You neglected to metion HOW husbands are to love. In fact, the women's side didn't need much explanation. Men (of the time) couldn't believe what they were hearing, so Paul expressed their side in a lot of detail...

   25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the
   church ****and gave Himself up for her****; ... 28
   So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own
   bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no
   one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes
   it, just as Christ also does the church...

He's telling men to give up their own desires, give them "selves" up for their wives. To nourish and cherish them -- not just as much as they love themselves, but actually give themselves up in preference to their wives!
I'm perfectly aware of the radical departure from tradition.  Paul tells men to set aside their own desires and to give their complete love to their wives.  Before, in the OT, husbands treated women like objects.  I assume no examples are necessary.  It was acceptable to God, and it was acceptable to man.  Paul is one of the first to humanize women, but he still declares them to be in submission to their husbands.  Husbands who love their wives completely can still order them to do what they think is best.  This is bigotry.  It's ridiculous beyond comprehension to assume that a god would inspire something so unenlightened, much less what we see him inspiring in the OT.  Of all the worthwhile things he could have wrote, this is what came out.  I'm not divinely inspired, yet I can do better: "Submit to each other.  Wives to your husbands.  Husbands to your wives.  One shall not have submission over the other. Work together to come up with solutions to your problems.  Listen to each other.   Love each other as you love yourselves.  Give yourselves completely, so long as you do no harm to yourself"  Wow.  No divine inspiration, yet I'm more enlightened than the father of Christianity who was inspired by an omnipotent, omniscient being.  For the life of me, I cannot understand why apologists won't accept the ramifications here.

On the issue of submission, people should be submissive to each other, and women should be submissive to husbands.  There is no submission, as detailed above, only total love, from husband to wife.  The husband, who should act with his wife in mind, still has authority over her.  Bigotry, plain and simple.

How many men do you know who find it easy to give up their own desires in preference to their wives?

First of all, there is nothing about giving up one's desires to the preference of the wife.  The passage says love your wife as yourself and love your wife like Christ loved the church.  Whether your heavily asterisked phrase continues the analogy or further mentions what Christ did is ambiguous.  Remember Paul's tenacity to group thoughts.  I'm inclined to agree somewhat with your assessment that the analogy carries.  "For the husband is the head of the wife" and "Wives [submit] to your husbands" are quite contradictory to "Give up yourself completely to your wife."  The analogy is that Christ was the leader of the church, setting standards with his natural authority that he thought was best for the church, just as the husband is the leader of the wife, setting standards with his natural authority that he thought was best for the wife.  Christ followed his love for the church to the point that he knew he was destined to give his life for it.  There is no need for a husband to give himself over to the wife because it is not required of him.  Furthermore, this has nothing to do with who has natural authority.

Paul highlighted women as leaders in the church, as prophets and even apostles (Rom 16:7 Junia is a woman! **See below**)  

So?  They either were or they weren't.  He states a fact.  He appreciates that women can serve God.  I don't suggest otherwise.  All I'm saying is that he wants wives to be in submission to husbands.

Paul disagreed violently with those who would shut women up. (1 Cor 14:29-37 -- HINT: find the word left out of most English translations at the beginning of v36... it's basically "**NOT!**"... he quotes what some folks say, then vehemently disagrees. Same pattern of his writing is found elsewhere; there's no room for confusion.)

I think the possibility that Paul is quoting is not all that implausible.  This of course assumes that the opening article should be translated as "what?" to show Paul's disgust with the quote.  It is then reasonable to think that he is mocking the belief that God spreads his word only through men.  Thus, women should speak also.  However, the article is also used when preceded by a question, which is exactly what follows, and not necessarily a question on its own. It need not be a contradiction to the previous verse and can serve as a clarification.  Matthew 7 has fine examples.  The NASB has a good rendition in this manner, which makes the most sense considering we don't know it was a quote.  Other authorities believe it was added in at that point from the margin.  If you have a convincing argument that it was a quote, preferably one that I haven't heard before, present it.  Don't assert.  I find it hilarious that God needs apologies to get his word clear, don't you?



The link in this section takes you to a separate page with a series of letters all from the same individual.  He was found to have committed plagiarism on a number of occasions, continued to commit plagiarism even after being caught, and lied about doing so.  Click here to view them.




Dear man who believes he is omniscient,

    After reading some of your arguments and coming to the conclusion that your bias alters your understanding of the points you make about as much as the media inaccurately portrays politics today, I am convinced that you should try looking at your "swiss cheese" arguments a little deeper and plug some of the blatant holes and gaps before you lead any other ignorant viewers horribly astray with you.


Criticism is more effective if constructive in some manner.




I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed worse informed “scholarship” or sloppier “reasoning”.
It’s a pity that some will find you credible. Many finer minds than yours have tried… and miserably failed to accomplish your obvious aims. You truly have a lot to learn.




Perhaps the writer would like to offer one example for all the readers to see?




Hello Dr. Long


Thank you for taking time to read this response. I admire you for the space you provide for those that agree or oppose your position.


This is a nice change of pace from recent letters.


From reading your introduction and various portions of your articles I believe I can identify with you. Being raised in a Christian home (my father was, and continues to this day in ministry), I tried to believe and understand the “The Way”. I committed my life to Christ three or four times during my tender years, as was necessary, I believed, because I would lose out/quit following him/live sinfully, etc. During my childhood, I too, had a myriad of questions which were left unanswered. Finally, at the age of 15 ½, in the midst of a very emotional spiritual crux, I knew I had come to an impasse. On this critical day I told myself that in one year from that day I would either be a soul-winner for Christ or I would reject Him.


I'm confident that this isn't a very logical course of action.  One shouldn't put a deadline on a discovery or else claim that something is right or wrong simply because the alternative hasn't presented itself yet.  This is a common illogical reason why people leave Christianity.  Such people give God a deadline to meet, leave once the deadline isn't met with the evidence, and return when they receive the expected response because the deadline is no longer a factor as to whether God exists since the positive evidence for some arbitrary individual goal has now manifested.


 I would not continue any longer in this state of confusion! That prophetic moment turned out to be the pivotal day of my life, as I almost immediately began moving away from the teachings of God. The next 20 years of my life was given over to self-gratification and developing a belief system that was agreeable to the kind of life I wanted to live.


I'm sorry to hear that the writer couldn't develop a proper moral code outside of religious dogma.  Plenty of others have done so.


I’ll spare you the morbid details, but will say that I considered many different options to Christianity…all of which, were notably lacking as an alternative. What I ended up with was very much like what you believe; i.e., agnostic (if not atheistic) and becoming very bitter towards anyone that would try to dissuade me with religion---especially Christianity!


From what this sounds like, it was a very shallow form of agnosticism that mirrors the very shallow form of Christianity widely practiced today.  In other words, just being agnostic or Christian without researching the veracity of either belief system in depth and instead relying on individual preferences and anecdotal observations.


I have had a lot of experiences in my life, read several works (including the Bible [several times]), and observed many occurrences that would help to solidify this way of thinking. After a while this is the way I wanted to believe and I would bolster it with the same kind of logic/fact-finding/critical thinking that you use on your website.


Does the writer have a method of study superior to that of logic, fact-finding, and critical thinking?  I would be very interested to share it with the readers.  Also, wanting to believe a certain position and analyzing evidence that supports only that position is the worst thing an undecided person can do.


But guess what? (and you’re not gonna’ want to hear this) God got to me! There’s not room here to explain how it all came about, but I do know that in spite of everything I’d done to shun Him, Jesus Christ still loved me and provided a way to Him! At 43 years of age, this hard-hearted, self-obsessed, analytical free thinker got down on his knees and said “God, help me! I can not deny you any longer!”


Being hard-hearted and self-obsessed is more about foolishness and moral depravity than it is about the absence of religion.  Perhaps the reader would like to share what valid reasons he had for abandoning freethought and embracing a particular religion, especially the religion he just happened to begin with.  Did he do an in depth analysis of the historical inaccuracies, contradictions, absurdities, and cruelties of the Bible, yet have an emotional experience that caused him to abandon all of this?  More times than not, those who leave a religion and rejoin do not offer logical reasons for rejoining, which leads us to believe that they did not leave for logical reasons either.  Such changes are just attributed to "life changing experiences."


It is absolutely incredible what God can and will do with a repentant heart!


Rather, I would say it is absolutely incredible what God is accredited with.


In spite of all the “evidence” that seems to justify the argument that “God and His Word are nonsense”, it is simply wrong!


Now it does indeed boil down to anecdotes and personal experiences.  One can change the word "God" to any deity of choice and make an equally valid argument.  Personal experiences are not evidence of God because people of all faiths have personal experiences that reaffirm their beliefs in the gods that just happen to be observed in their societies.  It is for this reason that we must not just say that a certain argument is wrong because of the way we feel.  Otherwise, we're left with epistemological paradoxes across the globe.


 It is this very God that has changed me. It’s not just me saying this…several others have told me I’m changed. My heart is different. My mind is different. My goals are 180 degrees different.


I have absolutely no doubt that subscribing to a belief can change a person.  The issue is whether a veracious premise serves as the basis for the belief.


I know God loves me. I feel His presence. I know He speaks to me. In the three years since I let Jesus into my life, my whole life is completely different!…which is odd, considering I still have the same wife, house, job etc.


More anecdotes and personal experiences.  I'm glad that the writer is happier now, but it means nothing when discussing the existence of a particular god if we cannot demonstrate a causal relationship between the two.


 God has been answering prayers by the bucket-full


Perhaps the writer would like to share with the readers how he can differentiate an answered prayer from a solved problem.


and the Bible is not a boring, confusing, contradictory book of tales.


While the designation of boring is purely subjective, perhaps the writer would like to solve one of the contradictions offered.


 It is the breath of life to me and one of my most critical links to the Creator of the universe! I really thought I could never be this content with life, much less a life of following Christ! Even if I were to die without hope of eternal life, I would continue to live for God because it fulfills me!


More anecdotes.


 Human logic would make that sound wacko, but that’s OK.


I can only urge readers who utilize the same way of thinking to weigh the testimony of all the contradictory personal experiences against what we can conclude from dispassionate empirical observation.


 None of this makes since to someone who is bitter towards God. (I know because I was there for most of my life.)


This borders on abusive because I'm in no way bitter towards a character that I have absolutely no good reason yet many good contrary reasons to believe that it exists.  If the deity did exist, the Bible is more than enough evidence to deem it unworthy of worship.


 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. I Corinthians 1:18.


Foolishness is subjective, but to me, a fine example of foolishness is the invocation of circular reasoning and question begging as an argument to support a point


Out of concern for you, Jason, I write this from my heart. I would not even consider responded tit for tat, point for point on your laundry list of the Lord‘s deficiencies. He will reveal all that to you in time.


Empty conjecture.


 Just consider this one thought, though…Is there any chance at all, however minute, that you are wrong?


I can't recall exactly how many times I've answered this question, but I'll do a cut and paste from a recent exchange:


Yes.  I am most certainly wrong about a few things regarding the Bible.  I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll probably be wrong again.  This is the scientific method: forming tentative explanations, testing ideas, gathering data, and making rational conclusions based on those tasks.  Based on the problems presented in my book, I think the stories on the cover of Weekly World News are just as likely to be true as those in the Bible.  Both have an awful lot of explaining to do.  The level of evidence against the Bible is overwhelming, and that is highly unlikely to change.


Based upon the amount evidence, I would sooner abandon the entire atomic particle theory than to accept the Bible as a valid work.  Now, will the reader admit to any chance at all, however minute, that he is wrong?  Perhaps, but based on past letters from other writers, I would say probably not.  This speaks volumes about which party is rational and open-minded.


I right now will say a prayer that the Spirit of God will speak to your heart, Jason. As a matter of faith, I will say this: If there’s any thing left of your heart for the Holy Spirit get a hold of, I believe, at this moment as you read this He is working on you. That is my prayer. God doesn’t answer every prayer like I want Him to, but I know He loves you immensely and that is why I believe He will come through on this one!


Although the writer has the best intentions, that is perhaps the most futile prayer ever offered.  I highly doubt God is going to appear and defend the innumerable ethical problems of the Bible.  Instead, he seemingly relies on apologetic messengers who utilize bankrupt logic and can't even agree among themselves.  I'll leave it to the readers to consider the ramifications of this problem.


You can’t out-think God.


How can the writer offer such a loaded assertion?  This deserves no further comment.


 You’ve tried the life of reasoning. Are you happy? I know you are not.


This is arrogant abuse which deserves no further comment.


 For once in your life let your heart take charge!


The writer should have just as well asked me to abandon logic and rational thought in favor of emotional appeals.


Romans 11:33,34 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Thank you. Thank you! May the will of GOD be done!




No comment.




Dear DR. Jason Long


I was sufing the net and ran across your book,well I was reading some of it,and I justed want to tell you that There Is A God until you can prove me wrong,


I'm not going to explain the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof again.  Even the most inexperienced in logical arguments understand it by this point.


 now my faith is bigger than ever.


This should be expected.  More faith is required in the presence of more counterevidence.


 and I also teach kids the bible, because they need it in there lives, wish i had it when i was younger,


How does the writer know what the kids need in their lives?  Do they need to hear how God treats women, slaves, and innocent children?  No.  The writer believes that they need to hear what he picks and chooses they should hear.


 if you want i can provbe there is a GOD.


As no one ever follows through on such promises, such a request would be a pointless exercise.


 thank you




a young believer here.


This individual, admittedly impressed by McDowell and Strobel of all people, has written to me before, attempting to submit Pascal's Wager as a valid argument.  He stated:


If you are right, and there is no Hebrew God, or maybe no God at all, you may or may not know after death if you are right. But if you are wrong you will know forever. I have doubted, but decided the same thing you should. IT IS NOT WORTH RISKING HELL..


To which I responded:


I’ve been waiting for Pascal’s Wager to be presented in one of these letters, and it has now arrived.  Pascal’s Wager states that we should believe in the God of the Bible because:


    1. We gain nothing for saying that he doesn’t exist and being right.
    2. We lose everything for saying that he doesn’t exist and being wrong.
    3. We lose nothing for saying that he does exist and being wrong.
    4. We gain everything for saying that he does exist and being right.


Thus, according to Pascal, we only lose or break even for not believing; and we only win or break even for believing.  Most Christians abandoned this line of reasoning long ago.  First and foremost, Pascal’s Wager is a false dichotomy which, as I described in Poor Christian Reasoning, is the erroneous belief that there are only two solutions to a question.  Pascal ignores other possibilities.  For instance, what if Islam is the right religion?  Christians are punished for blasphemy and the non-religious are punished for denial.  What if an unknown ancient European religion was the right one?  We will all die, but some of us will have wasted our lives on a delusion.  As there are countless possibilities, it is not as simple as Pascal and the sender would like for us to believe.


It is also incorrect to suggest that we gain nothing by abandoning false belief and superstition.  Instead of wasting time in practices that are unnecessary, we can live more productive lives that offer some sort of benefit to humanity.  For instance, what if just 10% of the hours spent on religion throughout human history were instead spent on scientific research?  I think even many Christians would agree that we would be better off than we are now.


And his response was:


After finishing your book I still think it should not be risked. God defys human concepts because he is bigger than us and our minds.


Unfortunately, this is indicative of the critical thinking ability of the general high school population.  I don't wish to pick on this young person in particular, but this is the point in education where people tend to have already drawn their conclusions on many issues in life.  This is why it's important to teach students critical thinking.  I can only hope that these individuals are curious enough in college to discuss the creation/evolution "debate" with reputable professors and to discuss religious beliefs with persuasive psychologists.  Now, on to the new material:


i would like you to explain this problem with the "world is billions/millions of years of years old" theory as pondered by  Joe White, Ed.D.


Not a reputable source, but I'll treat it as such


 "  Much sedimentary rock is filled with fossils.  This gives us clues about how the rock was formed.  When a plant or animal dies and lies on the ground, it quickly rots and decays.




After a few weeks, often little is left of the creature. Within a few months even the  bones of a larger animal disintegrate.


Not exactly true.  Bones often survive for over a year.  Shells often survive for decades.  It helps if people check reputable scientific sources like the talk.origins archive if they wish to utilize scientific arguments.


For a fossil to form, the plant or animal must be buried very quickly by mud, volcanic dust, or another protecting substance.


Not exactly true.  They need to either be buried within their time limit for decay or reach an area where decay is much slower, such as a lake bottom, pool of tree sap, river delta, local flood sediment, landslide, sand dune, or volcano.


  Otherwise, the creature would decompose or be eaten by worms or predators.


Well, surprise.  Many fossils demonstrate that they have encountered other animals by being bored or chewed before they were preserved.  This alone defeats the argument that fossils must be quickly buried.


  Next, the minerals in the water, rock, and soil are absorbed by the buried body.  Over time, the body becomes hard because it has been saturated  with the minerals.




     If sedimentary rock was formed by laying down dirt and sand over millions of years, then the remains of living things would easily have rotted long before they were covered and fossilized.


Well that's an "if" that I've demonstrated doesn't always apply.  Even if it did apply, think of how often floods, landslides, and volcanic eruptions have happened over the past one hundred years.  Given billions of years, these instances would accumulate in large numbers.


  The only way to explain the presence of fossils within rock is for these plants and animals to have been buried very quickly(perhaps by alarge sudden flood?).


Perhaps by Noah's Flood?  I'm not going to elaborate on this ridiculous apologetic.


 Aslow dying off period is impossible, pointing to a younger Earth".


Already covered.


 This is one of the many ways the fossil record and modern geology lean toward a young earth.


No, this is one of the many ways that creationists present false/inaccurate/partial scientific information that they do not understand in an attempt to make their pre-determined beliefs seem valid.  This is one of the many ways that uncritical minds are fooled into believing what they read because the author appears to have great knowledge on the subject.


 Read DARWINS DEMISE chapter 3 and the other books cited in the bibliography for further evidence. Please respond soon.


Creationists at Answers in Genesis do not even recommend the arguments in this book.  Why would I read a book suggested by someone who does not understand the folly of Pascal's Wager, who does not take the time to confirm scientific material presented by an author who holds an opinion against the overwhelming majority in the field discussed, and who does not recommend material still held in regard by the creationist community?  There is a perfectly good reason why over 99% of earth scientists have no doubt that the earth is much older than 10,000 years.


Sincerely, SJS


P.S,    No evidence is valid if bias is present.


So, what does that say about a book written by Christian creationists whose sole intent is to advance the validity of the Bible?


 I put aside my bias when i did my investigation as an agnostic.Now I believe


I suspect the problem isn't bias, but rather failure to investigating the claims.  Reading introductory material on earth science, speaking with geologists, or discussing evolution with professors who teach entry level college sciences will show how creationist claims are bankrupt.  Since people don't bother to do any of these, creationism is often viewed as a viable alternative.


 (as does jason McDowell, whose work I reccomend).


Does the writer mean Josh McDowell, widely regarded as the most popular but one of the worst apologists to ever publish a defense of the Bible?  If the writer is convinced by material that most creationists have abandoned, what does this say about his willingness to check the validity of what he reads?  Perhaps the writer should read responses to McDowell's apologetics.  There's a reason why McDowell won't respond to or acknowledge them.


 Have You put aside your bias, doctor?


I've already answered this question nearly a dozen times.  Instead of answering it again, I will merely point out the absurdity of being asked the question by someone who does not bother checking the validity of arguments that he finds convincing enough to go against the position of over 99% of experts in the field.




Dear Dr.Long


You seem read the Bible as though it were a scientific or historical document;


No, I read it as a book of information.  I expect the information to be accurate.  When the science or history is inaccurate, I state that it is in error.  The historical books in the Old Testament, I pretty much read entirely as attempts at history because they are widely acknowledged to be such.  Hence the name: "the historical books."


 as though it were measurable and logical.


Events either happened or did not happen.  The Bible is speaking either literal or figurative.  That is the standard by which I measure the Bible.  Is it too much to expect for a book to be logically sound if it was inspired by the creator of the universe?


 You provide no reason why you read it in this manner.


I read it in this manner for the same reason that I read any other book in this manner.  It is either true or false.  Trying to place a book on some different plane of thought by begging the question of its divine nature is wrong for so many reasons, primarily because it can be done for any work.  What book cannot simply be held as figurative whenever it fails test of scrutiny?


 Do you suppose its many stories were ever intended as literal actual accounts?


Let the writer demonstrate how he can separate fact from fiction, literal from figurative, etc.  To my knowledge, no one has ever been able to do so.  Christians who are willing to accept science and logic will attempt to shrug off the absurdities by claiming the statements are merely figurative.  Christians who will not accept obvious scientific conclusions attempt to invent their own conclusions.


Aesop's fables contain no actual occuerences yet they contain a deeper meaning (colloquially- a moral).


False analogy.  Aesop's fables are set in a fantastical environment and are clearly intended to be works of fiction.  The Bible is an attempted history of the Middle East, including documentation of a god's interaction with his creations.  If the writer has an argument that the Bible was clearly intended to be figurative, let him present it.


 There are several literary forms that reveal truths, though not necessarily an empirically measurable truth.




 (By the way can science measure the extent of an aesthetic experience?- does that mean that such experiences are not true?


What science can or cannot do is irrelevant.  It's patently absurd to imply that since there is no known way for a discipline to explain a certain observation, the discipline is incapable of being applied to the observation.


 What about moral truths?)


Let the writer demonstrate some "moral truths."  This should be interesting.


Most people understand that the bible is full of allegories, metaphors and symbolsism.


Yet for every person who believes a certain story is allegorical, metaphorical, and symbolic, I could find a person who believes it is entirely literal.  What does this say?  How can one determine literal from figurative?  Is the resurrection of a dead man allegorical, metaphorical, and symbolic?  If not, why not?  "Most people understand that the resurrection is full of allegories, metaphors, and symbolism."  How is that statement less valid than the one above?


 You have not discussed different types of truths nor different literary forms.


Different types of truths?  The stories are either literally false or are in some way figurative.  The writer has not discussed how he can determine literal from figurative.  I find that there is no convincing argument to take them figuratively.  It is just the obvious and easy conclusion when science and rational thought demonstrate that the stories are false.  One should not consider information to be figurative unless given good reason.


 The Catholic Church has never made any assertion to the effect that the Bible is literally true.  It has made statements to the effect that it happily supports evolution.  Have you researched the official stance of the Catholic Church?


This is hilarious on a number of levels.  What the Catholic Church does and does not do is irrelevant.  Is the Catholic Church the ultimate authority on the Bible?  Hardly.  Furthermore, the Catholic Church once killed people who presented scientific discoveries contrary to statements of the Bible.  Let us not even get into the history of the Catholic Church.  A decade ago, a pope apologizes for such acts and endorses evolution.  The writer believes that this somehow helps the Catholic Church's credibility in the argument for figurative interpretations?


It is curious, for example, that you suppose that the genesis stories are consisdered scientific-


I do not consider them to be scientific works; I merely expect them to be free from scientific error if they are inspired by an omnipotent god.


 what would be your reasoning for this approach


My reasoning is that Genesis is an attempt at the history of the Middle East.  The stories that Christians like the writer deem to be "figurative" tie directly in with stories that the same Christians deem to be "literal."  This is nonsensical.


 (was science a discipline when the various stories of the bible were written?


Irrelevant.  Science can test whether the stories did or did not happen.  Just because the idea of science did not exist at the time of the Bible does not mean that it is beyond the scrutiny of it.  If the Bible says that plants existed before the sun, it is either literally true or false.  If one wants to argue the story is figurative, one must have a satisfactory explanation.  The story was a suitable literal explanation in the time it was written and for centuries afterwards.


 They are clearly, and have been understood as such since their inception, as origin stories that reveal a religious truth.


Then why is it that one has not been able to support this assertion with a satisfactory argument?  Then why is it that some Christians claim to be able to support a literal reading of the stories?  Then why is it that Christians cannot agree on what is figurative and what is literal?  More importantly, what good is a book that inspires so much confusion?  Consider the ramifications of this.


 They contain religious, symbolic truths and were always intended as a theolical reflection that explains the reason for the (then) current state the world (an aetiology).


Another bald assertion that deserves no comment.


 (Do you really believe that it is accurate to use the expression 'plagiarized' in the context of explaining the origin of these stories?


When writers lift ideas from pre-existing stories in the region and attempt to use these ideas when creating a history of their own without proper attribution, I consider it to be plagiarism.


 Many cultures use elements from stories that circulated in their geographical vicinity but adapted it to reflect their interpreataion of the world-




 this is thoroughly documented and understood of many of the bible stories.)


Scholars have determined by what many aspects of the Bible have been inspired, but this irrelevant to the authors intentions at the time works were written.


You seem not to tackle the issues of contextual reading (reading to perceive a deeper truth) or literal reading (taking facts on face value). If everything were read as literal, would that not render nearly every newspaper headline as a lie?


No, I wholeheartedly support considering any interpretation offered.  I do not support explaining obvious errors by shifting them into the figurative realm.


Yours is indeed a curious exercise; ignoring so many hermeneutical tools that are well established in critical literary analys


I ignore ad hoc interpretations of passages to explain errors when they conflict with the clear intentions of the passages.  One can find a way to interpret the Bible to mean whatever he wants it to mean.  Just about any Christian will agree with this.  The question is whether a person can offer a valid reason for a particular interpretation.  Again, let the writer demonstrate how we can determine what is figurative from what is literal.


 that is seems, ironically, to render your expositiion as a somewhat simplistic exercise in stating the obvious


Except that this is an opinion - an opinion with which other Christians would take great offense.


 (you have really only listed facts- there is no evaluation as such).


I will let the reader decide whether the book is just fact listing or evaluation.


 What is your definition of "true"?


How about "consistent with reality"?


to quote (paraphrase) a segement from the Simpsons

    there's the truth and 'the truth' 

a cramped house- a cosy house

delapitated- A renovator's delight

That house is on fire- a motivated seller


the Character Marge being shown how to sell a house by her boss


I'm familiar with the exchange, and it in no way applies.  The qualities of the houses that they are viewing are subjective.  Subjective opinions cannot be considered true or false.  Statements purporting history are either true or false.  This is a terrible analogy.


In what do you hold your doctorate, would it be in a field related to theology or literary analysis?


My doctorate is in pharmacy.  My background is scientific, a field of thought that has driven the Bible into the "figurative" realm.







The following letter is paraphrased from the original since I accidentally deleted the original before updating this page:


"Biblical Nonsense" is nonsense.  I was wondering if you, Dr. Jason Long, have ever read Josh McDowell's "New Evidence that Demands a Verdict" and was wondering how one could deny such a tremendous book.


I have already addressed McDowell's work in previous letters.  His work is not taken seriously even among reputable apologists.  I consider him one of the worst three out there, along with Gastrich and Strobel.  McDowell refuses to comment on Lowder's rebuttal of the book, which can be found online by following the appropriate link on the references page.  Those who are impressed by McDowell, in my opinion, are uncritical thinkers, naturally gullible, or simply content with evidence confirming their positions.




Dr. Long,


I think your book is good to look into, especially to those of us who have lust trust in are faith. The main problem I have with your book is that it is over-critical of the writings of the bible. You main point you need to get across before you can say something is “wrong or in-correct” is about Perception and Knowledge.


Let us see.

All humans look at things from what they know and write based upon this. You say that Matthew, Mark, Luke & John’s writings about Jesus differ in certain ways this should be true based upon the human element “point-of-view.” Even today if you have a car accident every eye witness account of the accident will vary.


I'm sorry to be blunt, but this is a tired old argument.  Something either did happen or did not happen.  Details differ because different people recall them differently.  The details are either correct or incorrect.  This is a good demonstration of the lack of divine inspiration with the texts.  What kind of all-powerful being would allow erroneous detail in his message to the world (if this being truly had anything to do with it)?  Such a mess is absurd nonsense.  I would not say the events didn't happen based solely on this observation, but the disagreement on key points is indicative of urban legend.

You also write about the problems with Torah and the man who worked hard to create it on what they know. In the book of Genesis God created light and darkness he then created plants. There is no problem with this back then we knew nothing of the Universe past this planet.


There is a problem.  It either happened that way, or it did not.  It obviously did not.  What should be obvious is the author's ignorance of the facts and the tendency to just make stuff up due to such ignorance.

If you notice in all ancient writings the Sun and the Moon are considered Gods or additional forces. According to the writing of Genesis the Sun and the Moon had been appointed to rule the day and the night.



There must have been something on this earth that made people believe this.


How in the world can one arrive at such a conclusion that there must have been a reason for someone to believe this?  How can one exclude the possibility that it was just made up or based on erroneous oral tradition?  Sure, there may have been something that made them believe it, but the problem is that this is supposed to be a work of divine inspiration.

No matter what we can’t ignore the possibility that there may be a truth to these writings.


I am willing to accept any possibility.  When a certain text is blatantly wrong on a number of key issues, I decrease that possibility dramatically.

You also compare these writings to are current knowledge of DNA and Science. True DNA can tell people apart but the basic makeup of human life is all the same. In the writings of Genesis when Jacob changes the colors of animals this can be true because all DNA makeup of an animal works the same. The makeup of how a person develops is based upon the surroundings they grew up in. You can see this today Children of European, Asian, and African decent currently living in the US are adapting to match these surrounding.


Which, of course, has nothing to do with what the text says.  It is clear that the intention of the passage is to convey the idea that the peeled branches changed the DNA.  Sure, it could happen by chance that way, but one must look at the intent to understand the absurdity.

The writings in Genesis that say God gave us plants to eat are true as well. There may be plants poisonous to us but some animals can still eat it.


No, God is addressing man in verse 29, not animals.  They are addressed in verse 30.

How do we know that over time we became sick of these plants? There are currently thousands upon millions of dieses that we have created through Time, Knowledge, Development and Adaptation.


I don't know, but again, I weigh the possibility of the accuracy of "how-it-could-have-been-scenarios" based on related areas where I can know the answer definitively.  With that said, I put no stock in what Genesis claims and no stock in absurd, baseless ideas that attempt to add credibility to the story.

I know where you come from and I do have a major problem with living my life upon the writings of the bible but, I do believe it holds secrets to a time period when a lot of things changed in human history and maybe the true beginning of actual life.


I have no reason to believe that the Bible, any more than any other of the hundreds of ancient sacred texts, holds any value.

Even though I gave up my Christian belief I’ll never give up that there just may be a higher power at work. Maybe God is the son of this higher power or maybe he himself is the higher power. I do have a major problem with people who believe there life is more meaningful or important than any other person on this planet. If you consider it, time it self is a building being built and we are all the bricks, steal, windows, etc. falling in place.




I wouldn't rule out a higher power either, but the Bible is no reason to believe in one.




You maintain that God choses to rape and murder people. You had best hope that you are not one of the chosen ones,or you will be in hell before your time.


I will pass comment.




While this polite letter isn't actually a true letter of disapproval, I believe it deserves comment.


Dear Kind Sir,


    I am a 23 year old Christian.  Alot of the things you say on this website are very interesting and are actually very good points that you make.  Some things even I have thought of myself from time to time.  What I don't understand is why, even if the Bible was completely erroneous, you would go to this length in exposing its short comings?


This question is answered in the introductory chapter.  Since it has been copied and pasted into the FAQ page, I will refer readers there to save space.


  I am actually very smart, by the world's standards.  Using my brain, I could, if asked, build a website bashing the validity of anything, and in a way which would convince countless people that I was right.


Very true.  However, the ability to convince a number of a people on an issue is independent of whether the position is valid.


    I could make two opposing websites and each one could be equally convincing. 


I would disagree with this wholeheartedly.  For instance, if one were to make a website defending a spherical earth and another defending a flat earth, each with the best evidence available, I hardly believe that each website would be equally convincing.  Most likely, those who are unwilling to consider that the earth is flat will find justifications for believing it is spherical, those who are unwilling to consider that the earth is spherical will find justifications for believing it is flat, and those who hold not emotional investments in such beliefs will side with the party who has the best evidence.  The same goes for religious affiliations.


 Not because the information is true or false, just because it's easy to rip apart people, their beliefs, and their ideas.  It's really easy.


I would disagree again.  I believe it's easy to rip apart false beliefs and bad ideas, but not true beliefs and good ideas.  If my belief is that one should do what is fair, just, and for the greater good, can a valid argument be raised that we should do just the opposite?  If I state that molecules are composed of atoms, is it easy to rip apart such an idea?  Sure, one can try, but will the objections withstand intense scrutiny?


  What about smoking, drinking, kids starving, abuse, rape, murder, sex on t.v., violence, hatred, racism, kids having sex at age 14?  Are these not worthy issues to take up that our society, completely devoid of any relationship with God, is thoroughly drenched in?


These ideas range from relatively harmless [ignoring society's imposed ethical objections (e.g. sex on television)] to terrible cancers on society (e.g. racism).  The problem is that over 99% of society already understands that acts such as murder and rape are overwhelmingly unjust.  What good would it do to educate the choir?  Instead, why not make a difference by tackling a publicly supported institution that has crippled the progress of humanity?


  No, it's people who read the bible, that seems to be the real problem for you.


Quite the opposite.  I support people reading the Bible.  I've always said that more people reading the Bible would lead to less people believing it.  Ignorant people attempting to impose certain biblical principles on society through misinformation are the problem, as far as I can tell.


    The sad part is, you probably have a greater scope of what God is really like, than most Christians do these days.


I would go as far as to argue that I have a greater scope of what God is really like than just about every Christian.  Otherwise, they would cease to be Christians.




I read your commentary with great interest.  Of course, any thinking  person  can make such observations as you have made.


I would agree that anyone who thinks critically about the material will make such observations, but the process begins to break down when absurd rationalizations are manufactured to explain the obvious problems.


  Hopefully, your  evaluation will lead to intelligent, "objective" dialogue (if  possible as folks always seem to have their own hidden agenda ...  mine, I want to read on via an interactive discourse on your  website). 


Hence one of the many reasons for this page.


 I am sure that you are aware that  science has shown  that intelligent people are prone to become liars, as they realize at  at early age that they don't need to fess up to the dim bulbs that  surround them in life.


I’m not aware of such a study and would probably doubt the validity of an isolated study that drew such a conclusion.  Perhaps the writer would like to support this assertion with some data?


  Therefore, I think it is reasonable to assume  that the smarter a person is, the higher the probability that they  are wearing a mask, and being disingenuous (cases in point:  some  politicians, business leaders, and !! church leaders !!).


An interesting hypothesis, but one I would probably not go along with in the absence of data to support it.  A little off-topic too, so I won’t entertain the subject at the moment.


There  is no need to return fire, because I ain't trying to pee into your  tent, rather I am just trying to invite you out to talk around the  campfire ... before we attempt to roast each other! 


Fair enough.


Let's read  John 1:1 for a minute.  It seems to be saying that "He" (clearly  Christ) was there at the "beginning", and everything came through  him.  Further, it asserts that in the beginning, there was only the  "word", and the word was with him, and the word was him (clearly,  God, and God's word are given as being synonymous). 


I agree that this is what the text says.


So,  logically, it follows that the light at the beginning (at the  beginning of Genesis, which seems so at odds with the creation of the  natural  celestial lights a number of verses later), was not any  natural light that we know of, but rather the eternal light of the  world ... Christ.


Logically?  I don’t see how it logically follows?  Besides, I think this argument is a good example of ad hoc reasoning.  Even if we were to allow it, by replacing the idea of “light” with “Christ,” we would get Christ as a 12-hour period of the day in verse five.  This is completely nonsensical.  If we simply accept what the Bible plainly says, we realize that Genesis 1:3-5 talks about the creation of natural light that is different from darkness.  The periods are called night and day, which comprised the first day on earth.  Sure, Christ can be made to fit into part of the story, but this was clearly not the author’s intent.  Hence, the ad hoc reasoning.  Furthermore, this does not address even a fraction of the problems in Genesis 1.  Still, I have heard explanations with much less credibility than this one.


 When we fast forward to the book of  Revelation, towards the very end of the Bible, it makes clear that  Christ is the "Alpha" and the "Omega" , as he was there  from the  very beginning (as mentioned back in John 1:1)  to the end. 


Agreed, but how does this tie in from the “beginning” in Genesis 1.  Remember, the earth and empty universe existed prior to light.  If Christ is the “beginning” alluded to in John and Revelation, he would have to be the earth or heavens.  Otherwise, he would not be the true beginning as the so-called “light.”  Interesting hypothesis however.


Further,  in this part of Revelation, it states that the natural lights in the  heavens will cease to exist, leaving only the light of Christ.   (Science says that our universe might be collapsing, so maybe there  is something to all the heavenly lights being sucked into a mind- boggling black hole.) 


While it is true that the stars will burn out, I hardly doubt the author had a natural explanation in mind.  The latest scientific findings actually don’t support a collapsing universe.  Instead, the universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating pace. 


When you consider everyone who authored  the Bible, all the sorting and translating involved, it is absolutely  astonishing to me that  this thread of continuity runs from the very  beginning of the Bible to the very end.


Many people have offered this McDowell-like suggestion to add credibility to the Bible, but I have pointed out what I believe are its flaws before.  I will copy and paste a couple of comments I have previously made on the subject.


This argument, popularized by Josh McDowell, is a favorite among apologists. Since it's the first time to pop up in these letters, I'll take some time to address it adequately. The Bible does not contain a singular theme, as there is much disagreement among authors, particularly the prophets. Jeremiah 23 is often cited as one example. Another thing we have to consider is that we don't know exactly how many works were eligible for inclusion in the Old Testament. We often hear names of such books, but they are nowhere to be found. History often shows that minority opinion gets suppressed. Furthermore, of the books that were eligible for inclusion in the Bible, only a select few were canonized by the vote of a committee in 325CE. Ironically, the very reason for the committee was to eliminate all the books that were deemed inconsistent with what they already believed. Submitting this argument is a little like opening a box of crayons, carefully selecting a handful, and bragging about how harmonious the colors are.


I'm not denying the existence of a theme, but let me get this straight.  We should consider a series of books credible if the authors carry the same theme, and all of these books are combined into one volume on the basis that they have the same theme?  If so, this is quite possibly the dumbest idea I've ever heard.  I could collect a series of books with the same theme, especially where latter authors had access to works of the previous ones, and claim that it is more important?  Millions of medical textbooks have been written for thousands of years all with the "theme" of improving patient health, yet why do I not try to claim that something is special about this?


Yeah, I hear what you  are saying, loud and clear, but observations like I am making are  precisely why truly intelligent people don't lightly dis the Bible  and dismiss it. 


This is an assertion that I doubt can be defended.  The meta-study analysis compiled by Beckwith and mentioned in my book contains more than one article that examined the relationship between level of intelligence and level of religiousness.  What we see is that the more intelligence a person has, the more anti-religious a person tends to become.  Whether anti-religiousness leads to less credibility given to the Bible is a question I cannot answer, but I will speculate that it is so.  I would assert that “truly intelligent people” realize that the Bible is a human document with serious flaws among some valid points, but they do not try to make poor justifications and absurd rationalizations for those flaws in order to make it fit with preconceived notions.


 The basic content of your book heavily weighs in  with me, but the difference between us as is I choose not to rush to  judgement on such an important matter as God and the eternal truth of  our existence.


Rush to judgment?  Is it a rush to judgment to conclude with great confidence that a position is incorrect when there is no evidence to support, along with much counterevidence to dispute, the position?  Do people with this position consider hundreds of other religious texts to be on the same level as the Bible?  Rarely.  Most people will consider a handful, but because of the society in which they live, they will consider the Bible to have some sort of special nature behind it.  We must remember that we don’t need to have an answer for something before we start eliminating possibilities.  For most advanced Christian thinkers who have left fundamentalism behind, it is still a matter of the Bible being significant – but just how much is still relevant.  As sure as I am of my own name, I believe that objective people will look at the complete picture and consider the book to be of no more value than any other ancient religious texts – but rather much luckier in its survival.


  Christians do not believe by proofs like those  constructed in geometry class, but by faith and a feeling of shared  love with Christ in their hearts.


You can replace the word “Christians” with a follower of any other designation for a religious follower here and have a statement that is equally valid for any religion.  This is why we do not simply shrug the issue off as a matter of faith.  Since faiths often contradict, all faiths cannot be correct.  This is an inquiry into whether we have good reason to consider the Bible to be a more valid document than other contemporaneous texts.


  (If there were proofs, there would  be no need for faith;


See above.


 if we we had to live by the law of the old  testament, there would be no need of the new covenant with Jesus  Christ   this type of biblical logic makes perfect sense to me, and  you can refer to the book of Gallatians for concrete examples of  it.)  


I have previously covered the issue of Jesus changing the Old Testament in great detail already and will refer readers to previous letters.


 Are you married??  Can you prove scientifically that your  wife really loves you??  Of course you cannot!!  You both feel it in  your heart, mind, and soul!!


Since this is terrible reasoning, I’m going to spend some time here.  The public is probably familiar with a similar exchange in the movie Contact.  Love is an idea that can be easily defined, observed, tested, and verified.  There are no definite physical characteristics of love.  We simply define it as having an intense feeling of emotion for someone or something.  Once we define this phenomenon, we can observe and test whether people experience this concept.  While what love means to one person can mean something completely different to another, the idea remains somewhat consistent.  While I do not attempt to “prove” anything, I can certainly demonstrate that one person loves another person, as long as we come to an agreement on what constitutes love.


Comparing the concept of love to the existence of a supernatural entity is also a logically fallacious false analogy.  We are talking about an idea and trying to compare it to an entity.  Does this entity exist?  Who knows.  It is beyond the scope of whether or not the Bible is valid.  If we simply conclude that it does based on a person’s personal experiences (i.e. what a person feels in the “heart, mind, and soul”), we have then committed the logically fallacious act of accepting anecdotes as arguments.  Since Hindus experience such feelings for their gods, do we conclude that these gods exist? 


   ***  What holds the universe together  really??  It is love!!  And what destroys it!!  Hate!! 


I would say this is true for humanity.


 Now I  realize that I am never going to get a Nobel prize for discovering  the unified theory of physics on that one, but I bet you the  scientists never find it either (because all the really vexing  questions in science, philosophy, and theology always leave us alone,  twisting in the wind, until we realize the way out of this  existential darkness is by faith and love.) 


I would like for readers to notice that this statement is a perfect example of concluding what one simply wants to conclude, as opposed to concluding what the evidence leads to.  In other words, the thought of there being no supernatural creator is uncomfortable, so we avoid such a conclusion by supposing that there is one.


 I was trained as a  scientist, but looking at what science has done to mankind and our  natural world is certainly no better that all of the crazy wars  fought because people are confused about the truth (as we all are  prone to be) and cannot accept each other, love one another, and live  peacefully together. 


This is the same tired argument that we should abandon scientific principle based upon scientific discoveries that people have used for unethical reasons.  I will simply refer readers to previous discussions.


 Oh by the way, I would not continue to rag  on about the church.  Christ and his followers weren't exactly  pleased with the state of affairs in the church, and  the Bible makes  it clear that there are church leaders who are out of step with the  program (scatter the flock).  For example, once upon a time in the  Catholic Church devotees paid for forgiveness up-front, before they  made their scheduled trips to the brothel.  (What's up with that ...  perhaps a form of rent for those vast real estate holdings??)


To my knowledge, I don’t bother with condemning the Church.  That much is obvious to discerning readers.


Finally, a number of prophetic threads, in addition to the concept  that there is a God and a way of reconciliation with that God  (Christ), make it difficult for a lot of folks to just write the  Bible off as easily you apparently have done. 


If the writer would like to submit a single valid prophecy in the Bible, perhaps a better argument could be made on behalf of the apologists.  From my own experience, all so-called prophecies are either obvious, false, invented, manipulated, or contrary to what is plainly being stated.


 They don't expect for  any God in existence to conform to their pre-conceived notions,


I have no preconceived notions of what a being must be like.  However, I do require a being to be as described by those purporting its existence.  I also have standards of what I believe is ethical behavior from such a being.


 as  they realize that our obligation is to him, and not the other way  around. 


I disagree wholeheartedly, but since this begins to tread on philosophical ground instead of whether the Bible is valid, I won’t elaborate.


You know, I am sure you will agree that you cannot  learn anything unless you first convince yourself that what you are  being told is true.


I think this is another very poor statement.  I obviously would not agree.  A person is not required to accept something as true in order to learn from it.  Critical thinkers will listen to the assertion, regard it is a possibility (or a hypothesis), weigh evidence for the assertion, consider the position of unbiased authorities on the assertion, and draw a tentative conclusion on the assertion.  All of this is a learning process in which we do not “convince [ourselves] that what [we] are being told is true” until we are ready to make such a conclusion based on what we have learned since the assertion was offered.


  You are like a math student who says math isn't  his thing, and calculus is totally irrelevant.


I will let readers consider the veracity of this letter and draw their own conclusions.  If this is an analogy in which math represents the Bible and calculus represents an ad hoc, absurdly rationalized form of Biblical veracity, then I consider this a huge false analogy.


  I like your analysis,  but let's be honest ... you don't really believe in the God of  Abraham or Christ,


That much should be obvious.  I do not believe in an infinite number of creatures simply because the evidence is not there.  In the case of the god of the Bible, not only is this much true, but there is also great evidence to the contrary.


 and you are trying to intellectually argue their  non-existence


While it is not my job to prove that something does not exist, part of my treatise is to show why there is good reason to hold this position.


and ridicule their followers. 


Far from it.  The objective of my book is to educate why this readily-accepted idea is absurd.  The attempt is to educate, not ridicule.


 I  admittedly believe in  their existence, but like you, do not want to believe anything that  has not been thoroughly scrutinized from every angle. *** That you  so much for this opportunity to comment and unload on you.  I think  our repartee should be commonplace in these times, in the interest in  better understanding the truth.  Also, we need to examine all the  church-related rituals continuing to be carried out in America in the  public domain which to me seem completely hypocritical.  The church  also needs to be constantly called into question in the interest that  they are  truly encouraging the search for eternal truth, by faith  and love, and not brainwashing people (a la Jim Jones) to be dupes in  some crazy scheme.   <><><>   Friend


Well said.




Hey.  I have no idea if you'll respond to this but I figured I would give it a shot. 


I respond to every person who writes and will continue every conversation for at least three or four exchanges, depending on the level of abuse and fallacious logic exhibited by the person writing.


I guess i'm just tired of reading/hearing this statement.  "perhaps you have opened your eyes to see the real world".


Fair enough.


I gave my life to Christ 9 months ago and Christianity only seems to make more sense as I get more into it.


As the writer is tired of hearing the statement I made, I am tired of this statement as well.  This is submitting a personal experience.  We could find countless accounts from countless people who enter into countless religions and claim countless transformations.


I was into pornography and sexual relationships before I became Christian and it only brought me pain and confusion.


I’m always sorry to hear that people have had misery in their past.  While I find nothing at all ethically wrong with pornography and sexual relationships, a person’s preoccupation with these practices, along with the overwhelming disapproval from society on such practices, discontentment seems to follow.  Still, this is a personal experience.  I don’t doubt that such things happen.


Now that I'm learning God's way, everything from my past only makes more sense.


I have no idea what sort of explanations are given, but if they’re typical of those built upon preconceived notions of Christians who actually know nothing about the Bible, I’m sorry to hear that.


I understand all he miracles at face value can throw you off.


This statement presupposes that miracles happen.  I doubt that the writer could demonstrate any phenomenon that could not have a natural explanation.


I also consider myself a freethinker.  The idea that nothing came from something doesn't make anysense.


I wouldn’t dare disagree, at the risk of committing the “No True Scotsman” fallacy, but I think anyone who thinks a religion solves the problem has more thinking to do.  I will assume that the writer here meant “something came from nothing” instead of “nothing came from something.”  As I’ve mentioned several times before in previous letters, one must still explain how God arrived from nothing and further explain how the universe was less likely to do the same.  There are other problems in need of resolution, and I will refer readers to previous letters in which they are covered.


Oh well, I'm done.  So how long has your site been up?  I found it off About.com.


I think it’s been up in some form or another since 2004, but it didn’t really go public until 2005.






It’s not easy to be an atheist


Ignoring the fact that I don’t consider myself an atheist and have never really identified myself as one, I’m going to answer this ad hominem filled letter because I haven’t received any poorly-written, assertion-filled criticisms like this in a while.  I think it’s worth pointing out that the writer identifies himself as a preacher.


An atheist assigns himself to life without ultimate purpose.


Fallacious assertion.  Perhaps the writer would like to submit an argument (instead of an assertion) why there is no ultimate purpose outside of a creator.


Yes, atheists enjoy many smaller meanings of life-- like friendship and love, pleasure and sorrow, Mozart and Plato.


Friendship, love, Mozart, and Plato are “smaller meanings of life?”  That’s quite disturbing.  If an atheist feels that enjoying these are his ultimate purpose, the writer has already invalidated his earlier assertion.  Perhaps the writer meant that the atheist assigns himself to life without an ultimate purpose with which the writer agrees.  In which case, it is the duty of the writer to demonstrate that the ultimate purpose he perceives is the only possible ultimate purpose.


 But to be consistent with his atheism, he cannot allow for ultimate meaning.


Fallacious assertion.  Perhaps the writer would like to submit an argument why there is no ultimate meaning outside of a creator.


Yet, if the atheist is honest, he will admit to feeling that there is something more to existence -something bigger.


The fallacious assertions are piling up at a quick rate.  Arguments will be answered; assertions will be pointed out and ignored.


 Someone said, "The blazing evidence for immortality is our dissatisfaction with any other solution."


Does the writer not spot the obvious irony in this statement?  It states that the best reason we have to believe we are immortal is due to the comfort in believing just that.  This is yet another example of a Christian coming unbelievably close to truly understanding his position, yet falling short because of interference from his bias.


 According to Scripture, God has, "set eternity in the hearts of men" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).


Scripture is irrelevant until scripture has demonstrated reliability.


 To maintain his position, the atheist must suppress the feeling that there is more to life than temporal pleasures.


Fallacious assertion.  The “temporal” portion I don’t disagree with, but the “pleasures” portion is a clear attempt to portray atheists as creatures purely seeking pleasure.  If the writer chose to research Hedonism in more depth, he probably would not have made this mistake.  Otherwise, the writer is now forced to explain how Hedonism and Atheism can be used interchangeably.  I really shouldn’t feel the need to point out that many atheists have their own codes of conduct that are more than acceptable under common decency laws, but apparently someone needs to do so.


 But the atheist encounters many other difficulties.


Let us see.


The atheist must also suppress the demands of logic.


This should be interesting.


 He is like the man who finds an encyclopedia lying in the woods and refuses to believe it is the product of intelligent design. Everything about the book suggests intelligent cause. But, if he accepted such a possibility, he might be forced to conclude that living creatures composed of millions of DNA-controlled cells (each cell containing the amount of information in an encyclopedia) have an intelligent cause.


This is a variation of the argument presented in 1802 by William Paley, who argued that a person who would conclude that a watch found in a field was intelligently designed due to its complexity and irreducibility must also conclude that human beings are also intelligently designed due to their own complexity and irreducibility.  It’s not a bad argument, but there are many better reasons to conclude otherwise.  Since the talk origins archive does a nice job of handling this issue, I will summarize the best arguments and refer readers there for further review.  The only indisputable source of intelligent design is human design, which does not resemble natural life (supposed supernatural intelligent design).  The goal of known intelligent human design is simplicity, not complexity, which is the product of supposed supernatural intelligent design.  Supernatural intelligent design has been attributed to many phenomena now understood through natural laws, such as earthquakes, rainbows, lightning, star formation, etc.  Natural life shows many design flaws and has low tolerance for change, even though it is supposedly a product of supernatural intelligent design.  Evolution demonstrates that human beings are not irreducible.  Most importantly, the creationist claim cannot be tested; therefore, it lies outside of scientific scrutiny and understanding.


His controlling bias against God will not allow him to accept this.


I will accept any assertion with a reasonable argument to back it up.  On the other hand, I’ve often found that apologists will readily admit that they will not accept any argument that is contrary to their beliefs.  I will again ask readers to determine which company holds bias that will not allow them to accept the other company’s arguments.


Yet, ironically, the atheist has to believe in miracles without believing in God.


Let us see.


 Why? Well, one law that nature seems to obey is this: whatever begins to exist is caused to exist. The atheist knows that the universe began to exist and since the universe is, according to the atheist, all there is, the very existence of the universe seems to be a colossal violation of the laws of nature


A cut and paste will suffice here.


The sender’s argument about cause and effect is called the “first cause” argument. This argument basically states that all effects have causes, except for the uncaused first cause, which is God. Four key problems invalidate this line of argument.


1. The field of quantum mechanics demonstrates that some effects may not require causes.

2. The argument attempts to circumvent its own axiom that all effects have causes by baselessly inserting an exception (which is, God not requiring a cause).

3. The argument does not deal with the much more simple explanation that the universe is the first “uncaused cause.”

4. Causes and effects are universal constructs; we cannot apply laws of the universe prior to the creation of the universe.


Interjecting a creator into the mix only needlessly complicates the issue. If all effects except the first one need a cause, why must an infinitely complex creator need to be part of the solution? Utilizing this line of argument, it is much more feasible to say that the universe was the first uncaused cause. What’s worse is that I don’t even reject the notion of a creator – I just reject the one depicted in the Bible.


 (i.e., a miracle).


Perhaps a “colossal violation of the laws of nature” might be considered a miracle, but a colossal violation of the known or perceived laws of nature would hardly be held in the same regard.  When Einstein proposed that Newton’s laws of gravity couldn’t apply to large objects, did people shout ‘Miracle!’ or did we simply have a better understanding of what nature’s laws were?  Deeming an act a miracle simply because it violates our understanding of the universe is patently foolish.


 It's hard to believe in miracles without God.


Since miracles are typically defined as actions of a divine being, I wouldn’t say it’s “hard to believe in miracles without God.”  I would say it is impossible to believe in miracles without a divine being.


An atheist must also suppress all notions of morality.


Obvious ad hominem.


 He is not able to declare any quality to be morally superior to another.


Yet another fallacious assertion.


 Such admissions require an absolute standard of goodness and duty.


How does one need an absolute standard of goodness or duty to declare that rape is worse than homosexuality?  In the Bible, God declares that rape is punishable with a monetary fine in some cases, but homosexuality is punishable by death.  Is a monetary fine worse than death?  Is this the absolute standard of goodness that the writer is looking for?  Without the Bible, the overwhelming majority of people can appreciate the fact that rape is worse than homosexuality.  No absolute standard of goodness tells us so, yet we all perceive that homosexuality is not as morally inferior as rape.  Why is this?  God never spelled it out, so is there an inborn ability to determine certain levels of ethical behavior?  If God simply programmed it, how do we differ between this programming and our ethical notions?  The writer cannot answer these questions because his answers are contradictory to his previous assertions.


 Without this, there is no basis for an atheist to declare peace better than war or love better than hate.


The writer is arguing that absolute standards must be in play in order to determine relative measures of morality.  I will let this speak for itself.


 These are simply alternative choices without moral superiority. The atheist is stuck believing that morality has no claim on you or anyone else.


This could very well be the worst non sequitur that I’ve ever come across, and this whole letter is based on them.


In fact, the atheist must conclude that evil is an illusion.


I would hardly call evil an illusion, but I will say that there are no absolutes in morality.


 For there to be evil, there must also be some real, objective standard of right and wrong.


Surprise, yet another fallacious assertion.  Since I argue that there are no absolutes in morality, I would hardly argue that evil would be determined objectively rather than subjectively.  Since the writer asserted otherwise, let him back up his claim.  However, the writer is clearly making assertions that he has no desire to back up with arguments.


 But if the physical universe is all there is, there can be no such standard (How could arrangements of matter and energy make judgments about good and evil true?).


These arrangements of matter and energy create consciousness, which is undeniably eliminated once the matter and energy are removed.  This is demonstrable through empirical testing and observation.  Awareness then develops and argues for codes of conduct.  The writer is now forced to argue that God magically removes a person’s thought processes once the matter or energy is removed.  There is evidence for one argument, while the other relies on assertive dogma.  I can’t believe that anyone would actually make this argument.


So, there are no real evils, just violations of human customs or conventions.


This is the first statement that I would somewhat agree with.  I do not see absolute evils, but rather actions that my intuitions and deductions tell me are not for the greater good.


 How hard it would be to think of murderers as merely having bad manners.


Another gross non sequitur unworthy of comment.


The atheist must also live with the arrogance of his position.


Let us see.


 Although he realizes that he does not possess total knowledge, his assertion that there is no God requires that he pretend such knowledge.


No, atheists most often argue that they have no reason to believe in God and/or that they have good reasons to disbelieve in God.  Asserting that there is no god is pretty much the academic equivalent of asserting that there is a god. It would serve the writer well to understand his opponents’ positions.  Furthermore, the act of claiming that one knows the origin of the universe without doubt and without evidence, even in the face of other religious stories and scientific counterevidence should be covered by any reasonable definition of arrogance.


 Although he has limited experience, he must convince himself that he has total experience so that he can eliminate the possibility of God.


Again, this is a rarely held position of atheism that is the equivalent of the writer’s probable position of theism.


 It is not easy to hold the arrogant assertions required by atheism in a society that requires blind tolerance of every ideology.


Again, another gross non sequitur unworthy of comment.  I challenge the writer to develop a line of argument that logically ties these conclusions with his premises.


The atheist must also deny the validity of historical proof. If he accepted the standard rules for testing the truth claims of historical documents, he would be forced to accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.


Let us see.


The account of Jesus' resurrection is strongly validated by standard rules for judging historical accuracy.


That statement is nothing short of absurd.  Jesus’ resurrection is ignored by all historians until around 115CE (if we ignore the dubious Josephus reference in 93CE).  There were plenty of people in the first century and early second century who could have recorded it, but didn’t.  There were supposedly hundreds, if not thousands, who witnessed it, yet we have no known eyewitness accounts.  The gospels, which even most fundamentalist apologists will admit were not written by the Apostles, are anonymous contradicting accounts written decades after the alleged crucifixion.  What exactly are the writer’s claims of strong validation for a common event, let alone a phenomenon unique to human history?  I could elaborate on this one forever.


The extensive manuscript evidence of eyewitnesses to the resurrection is presented in an unbiased, authentic manner.


Not only are there no manuscripts from known eyewitnesses, the Gospels (to which the writer is no doubt alluding) are hardly unbiased considering the people who allegedly wrote them worshipped and admired the subject of their work.  This claim is patently ridiculous.


 It is the atheist's anti-supernatural bias that keeps him from allowing history to prove anything.


No, it is the atheist’s standard of proof that causes him to reject absurd claims.  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, yet the arguments for the resurrection don’t even amount to ordinary evidence.  Furthermore, the arguments against the resurrection yield a much more solid case, as I have elaborated upon in the book.


Finally, the atheist must admit that human beings are not importantly different from other animals.


These fallacious assertions are getting quite absurd.  What does “importantly different” mean?


 According to the atheist, we are simply the result of blind chance operating on the primordial ooze,


An obvious appeal to emotion that isn’t even grounded in fact.  Anyone who holds the least bit of evolutionary understanding realizes that it is not a function of chance.  I could fill a page debunking this notion, but I will instead point out that the foundation for evolution (i.e. natural selection) is the complete opposite of chance.  Anyone who believes otherwise simply needs to study evolution in more depth.


and differing from animals by only a few genes.


Since our differentiating characteristics are determined by the relative difference in our DNA, I would agree with this assessment.  It is an empirical, testable, observable, falsifiable fact.  I realize facts sometimes get in the way of predetermined beliefs.  However, we must acknowledge one or the other as true, and it is much easier to change our position than it is to change the facts.


 Yet, the wonders of human achievement and the moral dignity we ascribe to human beings just do not fit with the claim that we are no different than the animals.


The writer just got through saying we differ in DNA, but now he is saying that we are no different than animals.  Perhaps the writer’s position would be more worthy of consideration if he made a consistent argument.  Either we are different, or we are not.  Achievement and dignity are the products of our intelligence, which is clearly linked to our genetic code.  If you change our DNA even slightly (e.g. one mutation out of thousands of correct replications is believed to result in Autism), you can eliminate the individual’s capacity for advanced thought.  Change our DNA by 0.5% and you would have a Neanderthal.


The realities of human creativity, love, reason, and moral value seem to indicate that humans are creatures uniquely made in the image of God.


Either that - or the realities of those seem to indicate that humans have a genetic code for advanced intelligence.  This position has empirical evidence; the writer’s position has none.


Always remember that the atheist's problem with belief in God is not the absence of evidence but the suppression of it.


This would be true only if such evidence existed and if Atheists had a desire to disbelieve in a supreme being.  I have seen no argument that met either case.


 This is what scripture teaches. "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:20-22).


Quoting the Bible to support the Bible?  It’s only fitting that we would end on some circular reasoning.




Since you dont believe in God, your basically saying, that you came from nothing, you are nothing and your going to nothing.  Theres one thing certain.  You are going to die.  Your too intellectual for your own good, thats why your missing it, its so simple.  Say the prayer and find out for yourself.........


At the risk of sounding glib, this is absurd and deserves no comment.




I feel sorry for you and I'll pray for you!!! 




Not worthy of comment.






i can give you evidence that an invisible pink unicorn doesnt exists.  no one's talked about it or written about and nothing in history has even recorded anything about an invisible pink unicorn.


By that line of reasoning, dark matter and radiation wouldn’t have existed in the nineteenth century either.  Of course, not having any evidence for something is good evidence that it probably doesn’t exist.  The point is that there is little difference between the Judeo-Christian God and the Invisible Pink Unicorn.  The writer has managed to spot what is the only important one.


  people have been talking about God for a very long time, including Jesus.


Since people have been talking about lots of things for a very long time that we would all agree don’t exist, and since this Judeo-Christian God is yet one more idea that we have no additional evidence for, what differentiates it from the rest?


  i think there is a God.


Good.  Faith entitles you to believe what you want.  Logic will test your reasons for that faith.


  i think Jesus is God too because why would he die for a lie?


People have died for lies; people have died for the truth; people have died for what they thought was the truth; people have been reported to die for a belief when they probably were not martyred at all; people have been reported to exist when they may never have.  The burden of proof is on the believer here.


  it's contradictory that you believe all these things but you yourself do not have any evidence for it


This letter is a follow-up of an earlier series of exchanges with the writer, in which I suspected he wasn’t merely asking questions, as he purported.  I will forward these to anyone wishing to read them and challenge anyone to find contradictions.


 but you're asking for evidence for an infinite God.


If the writer is suggesting that it’s unfair to ask for evidence of this being, I’m not even going to touch the absurdity of it.


  you do have faith though.  you have more faith than a lot of christians, just that your faith is in something false.


My perceptions of the universe are based on study, observation, and experimentation.  The writer’s suggestion is absurd and deserves no further comment.


  i mean, think about the universe, it has design.


Perhaps the writer should learn to differentiate an assertion from an argument.


  if there is a design, there has to be a designer.


I might agree with this, but the writer would have to first back up the tired “design argument” that has failed so many times before.


  when we look at a picture, we instinctively know that there's an artist who drew that picture.


As this argument has been offered before, I’ll cut and paste.


This is a variation of the argument presented in 1802 by William Paley, who argued that a person who would conclude that a watch found in a field was intelligently designed due to its complexity and irreducibility must also conclude that human beings [or in this instance, the universe] are also intelligently designed due to their own complexity and irreducibility.  It’s not a bad argument, but there are many better reasons to conclude otherwise.  Since the talk origins archive does a nice job of handling this issue, I will summarize the best arguments and refer readers there for further review.  The only indisputable source of intelligent design is human design, which does not resemble natural life (supposed supernatural intelligent design).  The goal of known intelligent human design is simplicity, not complexity, which is the product of supposed supernatural intelligent design.  Supernatural intelligent design has been attributed to many phenomena now understood through natural laws, such as earthquakes, rainbows, lightning, star formation, etc.  Natural life shows many design flaws and has low tolerance for change, even though it is supposedly a product of supernatural intelligent design.  Evolution demonstrates that human beings are not irreducible.  Most importantly, the creationist claim cannot be tested; therefore, it lies outside of scientific scrutiny and understanding.


  when we look at the universe and see design, shouldnt we give credit to God.


If we could conclude that it had design, we would give credit to a designer.


  if we come from monkeys, why are there still monkeys.


This only goes to show that the writer, predictably, has absolutely no concept of evolution.


  shouldnt they be dead if the good survive.




  and if the good survive, are the chinese people good because there are way more chinese people than any other race in the world.


The writer fails to understand an earlier argument in which I explain that species that protect their own, as opposed to those that harm their own, are more likely to continue their existence.  I offer this as one possibility for why current species tend to exhibit self-preservation or perceived acts of “good.”  For some reason, most likely a lack of reading comprehension, the writer wants to apply this to mean that a “species” of people greater in size than another must be better than the other “species” of people because there is no other explanation.  The logic here is atrocious.


  everything that you believe in has to have evidence, so what's your explanation for creation?


Well, if I had no explanation for creation, and instead only offered hypotheses for how life and the universe began, should evidence be required?


  well jason, many of the things you tell do not make sense and your answers are absurd.


I will let the readers decide on this.


  for example, stealing isnt always bad.  what if i stole your car?  i dont have a car and i need to go visit my sick mother who's lives thousands of miles away.  so i steal your car to drive to see her.  so im justified by that?  stealing is stealing.


To answer the writer’s question, I don’t know.  It might be okay under extreme circumstances, but it’s tough to say.  It would depend on more precise details that need to be given.  In previous exchanges, I have offered plenty of evidence against the existence of absolutes in morality that he couldn’t respond to.  His statement “stealing is stealing” tends to imply that he still believes in this moral absolute, which is unfortunate.


I once offered the following response in an informal letter to another reader, and I think it applies well here:


What I'm saying is that we can't tell children it's always wrong to lie, cheat, fornicate, or steal.  We can show our children as many examples as possible when it
is right and when it is not right.

We can tell a child that it is not okay to steal a video game from Wal-Mart in almost every conceivable situation by explaining the pros and cons.  It is a company owned by the public that offers goods in exchange for currency.  Video games are not essential for life; they are entertainment.  Wal-Mart has not harmed you in any fashion.  Stealing from Wal-Mart is stealing from individuals who have invested their savings in the livelihood of the company.  In this instance, it is not okay to steal.  It is not for the greater good.  It is not right.

We can tell a child that it is okay to steal $100 from a man who once assaulted you and left you with a $500 hospital bill.  The court found that there was no evidence the attacker commited the crime, yet you know it was him because you knew the individual personally.  He admitted to assaulting you outside of the courtroom.  You are not going to receive justice thru legal avenues, and this will be your only opportunity to receive compensation.  You did not provoke the attack.  In this instance, it is okay to steal.  It is for the greater good.  It is right.

Let's just be silly for a moment though.  What if someone was going to murder your son's girlfriend if he didn't steal a loaf of bread from Wal-Mart?  It's okay to steal in that instance, right?  It's wrong to say that stealing is always wrong, right?  Saying that it's *almost always* wrong to steal is a good thing to tell your son.  I would do the same.  My point is that an absolute rule is not a good idea.

With these three examples and many similar ones in the child's memory, he can apply fair reasoning in other hypothetical and real-life scenarios.  A rational child can now decide, to the best of his ability, when it is right and wrong to steal.  The child is much better equipped to make the proper decision more often than a child who is told that it is an absolute right to steal or an absolute wrong to steal.  This is why absolutes do not provide what is right and wrong.  We cannot say stealing is against the rules - don't do it - it is wrong.  No philosopher that I know of in the past several centuries would ever support the notion of an absolute right or wrong.  However, if we find ourselves in the instance that we cannot determine if it is right or wrong, we can say that in doubt, follow this guideline: do not steal.  The Bible does not display this advanced level of thinking, it simply provides an absolute rule not to be broken.


  what do you think about Jesus?  who is he?  what has he done?  why did he do it?  please let me know. 


This is probably the third time that the writer has asked, even after I have pointed him to the chapter in the book.


 you have great day.  hoping to hear from you.






I just want you to know that I’m praying for you.  What amazing power you have!  It’s neat to see that you can influence others.  I just pray that your heart will be softened and God can use you for His glory instead of yours.




Although many may find letters like this to be genuine, I find them insulting.  It ignores reason, assumes a conclusion, and insinuates my arrogance.




Against my first instinct, I’m going to include this off-topic flight-of-ideas letter simply to demonstrate how one can say a lot without saying anything.


Beware of Church Heresy
Hi! Ever since I was young, people taught me that God no longer speaks to people. I later learned that the Protestant Confessions, including the Baptist Confession, say the former ways of God revealing His will to His people is now ceased. I was also told not add to Gods word. That means then that we should not be saying something the Scriptures do not say... keeping in mind that Moses is the first person to have said not to add to Gods word. Every prophet, Apostle and writer of Scripture since Moses has written down what God told them to write...after Moses said not to add to the word of the God.
The issue is a matter of the origin of the things that we say. Jesus said the one that speaks of his own initiative seeks his own glory. We are told in Scripture to let everything that we say be as it were the oracles of God so that God is glorified in everything that we say and do.
We cannot say anything that is not Gods word without glorifying someone other than God. That means that any statement, creed or Confession that is admittedly not Gods word does in fact glorify whoever wrote them instead of glorifying God...especially if those Confessions blatantly say the former ways of God revealing His will to His people has now ceased. It's something the Bible never said. That statement of the Confessions means that Christ is no longer the head of His Church (if He no longer reveals His will to His people). It also means that a man has now taken Gods place in the Temple of His body in the supposed absence of the word of the Lord. Consider what this means.
I would like to know why it is that I have not heard anyone address this blasphemy of a man speaking of his own initiative in Gods place...this satanic mark of the beast unscriptural heresy teaching of taking Gods place in the Temple of the body of Christ.
Let it be known that God does indeed reveal His will to His people the way that He always did throughout history (His sheep hear His voice). Of course there is no support in Scripture for having any change in the teaching of Scripture (there is no change). God's truth endures to all generations.
People use Scripture taken way out context saying that prophesy will be done away with. There is no indication anywhere in Scripture of when such a thing would happen especially when Paul says that we should seek most to prophesy in the next chapter. We are told to seek to prophesy. Prophecy will be done away with only when there is no longer a need for language, when we know the Lord as He knows us. Until then, we are told to seek most to prophesy. There was never a retraction of that instruction. So it would have to be "done away with" at the end of time. If any "part" of prophecy is done away with in this life, there is no whole part. No part of the prophecy of Scripture can be done away with. Neither is the practice of prophecy done away with anywhere in Scripture.


The only other thing I have heard someone say is that God has spoken to us through His Son. "His Son" said that He would send "another Comforter". Since when does the Holy Spirit or the word of the Lord stop coming to us? There were New Testament prophets that were not the Apostles. There is no basis in Scripture for any change in teaching.
The point is that all the work done in us (today) must be as a direct result of what God does Himself so that God gets all the credit. Understand this. Nothing that we say or do can be of our own initiative. All the glory must be of God... if we want to be truthful. We have no choice but to speak Gods word at all times.


Whoever does not speak God's word all the time, speaks of his own initiative and glorifies himself... in God's place the same as the false prophet and the beast. In Isaiah God says, "...walk in the light of your fire and among the brands you have set ablaze; this you will have from my hand, you will lie down in torment."


I would be wrong if I didnt speak up or say anything. Everyone who learns of this heresy of speaking of one's self in God's Temple, the body of Christ and doesn't say anything against it is not doing the right thing. It is a very deceptive church heresy that has deceived millions of people.
So..."Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts". Take care.


The gist of the letter is to claim that it is wrong to say that God no longer speaks to his followers.  Although this has hardly anything to do with my book, I will simply point out that anyone could claim that God says anything and that it should be taken as a revelation.  If one attempts to argue that only instructions consistent with the Bible should be accepted as authentic, this begs the question of the Bible’s authenticity and also opens the door for interpretation.  Since we obviously cannot make such conclusions definitively, the fundamental flaw of this argument should now be apparent.




This is a direct, unmodified quote from your website.

"Finally, John sees a dragon swing its tail around, consequently knocking a third of the stars in the sky down to the ground (12:4). There₼s no need to discuss how enormous such a hypothetical tail would have to be in order to accomplish this impossibility. After all, Revelation was only a vision. On the other hand, we must expect Christians to accept that this man had a unique foreknowledge of humankind’s imminent future. In other words, these ridiculously fantastical events must remain futuristic certainties to biblical apologists. At this point, we can safely say that anyone attempting to harmonize the scientifically determined position, size, and number of our celestial neighbors with a literal interpretation of the Bible is veraciously wasting his time."

I have a definite problem with this.  God likes to use symbols throughout the Bible, and I as a 15 year old kid am smart enough to find them.


Perhaps the 15 year old kid is also smart enough to demonstrate how he knows what formula can be used to determine what is literal from symbolic.  Since he also likes to beg the question of God’s involvement, perhaps he would like to develop a supporting argument.  Just about anyone can claim that something is symbolic simply because it doesn’t make sense in literal terms, and use mental gymnastics to make the text mean what one wants it to mean, but what textual support can be offered for the assertion?


The dragon is Satan and the stars are angels.


I am perfectly aware of the traditional Catholic rendition of the passage, but the question is what textual support we can use to determine that the stars are angels.  I can offer plenty of textual support that the Bible’s authors had no idea that stars were anything other than small balls of light hung in the sky and that the idea of stars falling to the earth from the swipe of a dragon’s tail was entirely consistent with their primitive beliefs.  I can study the original language to determine that the stars (aster, in Greek) are consistently treated as small objects in Revelation, and even used in conjunction with the sun and moon in Revelation 8:12.  If the author wanted to convey angels, he could have used the term angels, and even did so in verse seven.  Thus, we must have good reason to believe that the author was being symbolic.  Since apologists do not want to concede that the author had no concept of what stars were, they use the next most sensible alternative.


  When Lucifer was condemned to Hell he took one-third of the angels with him, these were the fallen angels.


So what textual support, not appeals to church authority, can this individual offer when making this bald assertion?  Let’s examine the evidence.


  This is why the dragon swung his tail, a prideful move (also the first sin, imagine that) and knocked a third of the stars from the sky.


The first sin?  Why should readers be impressed?  Perhaps the writer would like to demonstrate his case as to why this is significant.


  What a coincidence the stars fell just like the angels, to the ground (Earth) where Satan was given rule.


An inordinate amount of objects also fell to earth in Revelation.  Should we baldly assert that they are also angels?  What about other things that fall to Earth?  Is water angels?  What a coincidence that water falls to earth just like the angels.  Anyone can assert symbolism.  The duty is to prove one’s assertion.


  My stand here is completely Biblical,


A biblical stand needs support.


 your argument is quite arrogant in the sense that you avoid the things you do not want people to see or know, and only concentrate on things that out of context make no sense at all.


I will let readers decide who arrogantly assumes that their position is correct without textual analysis.


  I would like to know how you prove my opinion wrong.


I would like to know how people cannot understand the concept of “he who asserts must prove.”  I would like to know how people cannot understand the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof.  I would like to know how people cannot understand the folly of attempting to prove negatives.




To top it all off, God conveniently ceased his murdering and slave driving when modern philosophers, enlightened thinking, and accurate historical records began to appear. However, Jesus did not invalidate the aforementioned rules and regulations with his teachings, as some apologists often claim, because the old laws were never intended to be cast aside. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:7). “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail” (Luke 16:17). Amazingly, the perfect Jesus also tells us that we should abide by the old laws established by Moses. Something is definitely wrong here.


Fulfilling it, completely it IS ending it without “abolishing” it.


Except that 1) there is nothing to fulfill because nothing was predicted, and 2) we are talking about fulfilling the law, not the prophecy. One verifiable, non-obvious prophecy fulfillment is all I ask to satisfy the first part.


Paul makes it very plain the Old Covenant was passing even as he wrote.


Begging the question of Paul as a valid source on the topic is just as sensible as begging the question of the Bible’s validity. There are clear statements in the Bible that animal sacrifices, for example, were to be carried out forever and that the law was perfect to begin with.


And I think the Bible makes this quite plain so someone who really wants to know: http://www.tentmaker.org/oldandnew.htm


I think the Bible makes it quite clear that the New Testament authors attempt to invent fulfilled prophecies in order to set aside Mosaic Law. We must ask ourselves whether the law and prophets were all fulfilled. If not, they must continue.





Have you seen The Bible Handbook by Atheists, & www.godisimaginary.com with www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com or www.whywontgodhealamputees.com ?
They all have a similar message as you, but you're all missing some very valuable insights.


Let us see.

While you're all obviously correct about the absurdity of most Biblical claims, there is something that no one can yet perceive, called esoteric. Not even Kabbalists, who specialize in secret Jewish knowledge, can see it.


Yes, the ultimate non-explanation.  For those who don’t know, esotericism is the belief that only a select few are able to understand an otherwise simple concept (such as the Bible) because it is beyond the understanding of normal people.  I will let that speak for itself.

I offer scientifically-provable evidence, but no scientist will conduct the experiment. Fanatics ignore evidence. I don't. They do. Do you?


Perhaps there are too many crackpot tests to invalidate?

Have any scientist ask any religious counsellor to explain why no one seems to have ever seen Jeremiah 31:9,18,20. Not even the Author of Hebrews 1:5,6. You will witness the modern-day miracle described in Isaiah 29:9-11. A true phenomenon.  Most Concordances, that index almost every important word, simply omit those verses under the headings of "Ephraim", "first-born", & "son", even though those words are very clearly there.


So?  What does this mean?  I don’t know whether this is true or not, and quite frankly I’m not interested enough to look, but the online concordances certainly detect them.

Some offer weak guesses about the Tribe, or Joseph's 2nd son, but neither of them resemble verse 18, & although earlier verses in the chapter are clarly about the Tribe, these are just as clearly about a male person, but not a happy or good one.


Groups of people are often referred to in the singular in the Bible, especially the prophetic books.  Hosea 11 is one example I provide in the book.

As far as all of your research into the weird tall tales, I point to Isaiah 43:18,19. Then to 1 Corinthians 15:51,52.


And this is relevant, how?

I can fulfill John 16:8-15 like that, & Ephraim is my Hebrew name. I found it in 1979, but along with Isaiah 48:6.... Fred [his name] means peace+ruler in the dictionary of names, & the German language, as in the end of the long title in Isaiah 9:5,6. See what It Says that Jesus Said in Matthew 10:34,35. My life resembles the suffering servant described in Isaiah 40-60 better than Israel or Jesus. 49:4,6? There's a lot more, in & outside of the Bibles, but instead of speculating on old dead guys, why not politely debate what could prove to be a modern-day Biblical character? I can offer answers to what others call "unanswerable". No one must conform, accept, or even believe to benefit, & I do not seek, nor even accept any profit, power, or glory for my work. I'm just here to help.

Very Sincerely, Fred


I guess I should feel pretty fortunate that the second-coming is emailing me, but I don’t for some reason.  Sorry.




It is always the same with the atheist!


Even though I don’t consider myself an atheist, this should be interesting.


They "prove" their fearlesness by bashing the religious ideas of their more spiritual counter-parts.


I’m not sure that atheists set out to prove anything, much less this supposed fearlessness, or that bashing is the most accurate word to describe this process.  However, I do attempt to show the fallacy of false beliefs rooted in prejudice, ignorance, and blind tradition.


Claiming that the believer is just too afraid of death to admit that life has no meaning,


I do not, nor does any atheist I know, make the claim that the believer is “just too afraid of death to admit that life has no meaning.”  I dispute two ideas in this statement. First, it is my opinion that the believer primarily believes in his religion simply because society has taught him to do so. The fear of death certainly plays a role, perhaps a considerable one, in an individual’s unwillingness to consider the matter critically.  However, I cannot agree with the oversimplification of the writer.  Second, the writer has made the common claim that life has no meaning outside of his god, which I find to be deeply disturbing.  Instead of dealing with the issue again, I will simply refer readers to previous letters.


And that religious concept is an imaginary umbrella that the ignorant use to sheild themselves from the truth.


I can’t speak for all religions, but Christianity is certainly not a concept that has been accepted following unbiased skeptical scrutiny, but rather one psychologically ingrained into American society, which prevents uninformed people from impartially pursuing the veracity of their religion’s claims.


Oh, how brave and courageous the atheist!!!


Unworthy of further comment.


Yet, he struts on as if HIS life actually has meaning.


I would argue that anyone who wants his life to have meaning can have a life with meaning. I simply see no value in dedicating a life to a false concept, but the meaning of life is a very arbitrary concept that I’m not going to delve into here. Since the writer doesn’t want to understand his opponent’s position, he apparently makes one up.


Thinking that HIS ideas are the only right ideas.That HIS way is the only true way.


For about the tenth time, we have to revisit this tired idea. I think it should be clear that the writer’s statement is most often the position of the religious individual, not the irreligious one.  While people like me do not claim to have all the answers, we eliminate ridiculous possibilities but remain open to others


So, if believers are weak for giving artificial meaning to their lives.....how is the atheist strong for doing the same?


I don’t think believers are weak (not that the writer has any desire to understand my position), but rather misinformed. And like I said before, a person’s life has whatever meaning that person wants it to have. It’s just that some people dedicate their lives to improving humanity while others are content with uncritical thought.


(what, with staying alive, and working, going to school, and buying things & all)


What the writer sees as working, going to school, and buying things, I see as improving society, becoming educated, and enjoying life.


Why can't he just stop breathing and prove his point that life is meaningless?I know why! It's because the atheist DOES have a "god"...... The atheist!!!  


Unworthy of further comment.


BTW; If you knew who it was who said these things to you, you would be asking me questions instead of trying to teach me things. 


If the ignorance, grandiosity, and grammar are any indication, I’m sure I don’t want to know.




I was reading your article about the logical fallacies that Christians use and I have to say, if the weight of your arguments are the best an atheist has then I feel much more secure in my faith having read them.


That’s interesting - because I don’t remember offering any arguments in that chapter, which is an explanation of logical fallacies. I also don’t remember identifying myself as an atheist.  Might the writer be thinking of one of those false dichotomies to which many Christians are attached (i.e. Christian Theism versus Atheism)?


 When I first came across the article, which I was led directly to from a link in Google, I had assumed it was written by a high school student or perhaps a college freshman full of pomp.


Unworthy of further comment.


 But that a person with a doctorate (in what I don't know) could so blatantly and arrogantly misrepresent Christians and their arguments is quite upsetting.


The writer isn’t the first person, nor will he be the last person, to demonstrate an inability to comprehend the intent of the chapter.  Therefore, I will paste the introduction from that chapter and bold the text for emphasis.


Perhaps the most aggravating ordeal in discussing religious theory is the burden of listening to logical fallacies used by someone with an opposing viewpoint. Logical fallacies are arguments outside the bounds of reality, commonly used by zealous defenders of their respective religions. While some of the arguments used by such an individual may seem sound or valid to a lay audience, especially one with beliefs deeply rooted in the debated system, this chapter should assist you in being able to recognize when such disingenuous methods of argumentation are used. In fact, the illogical attributes of Christianity itself prematurely handicap the ability for a Bible defender to use sound logic in defending his position. I will support examples of these poorly developed techniques with hypothetical religious arguments in order to reinforce the often-confusing explanations.


It’s important for the freethinker to avoid these faulty methods of argumentation in order to remain above an intellectually dishonest level. As the tools of logic and reason are on the side of those who don’t blindly delve into the comforts of false superstitions, there’s no foreseeable excuse to ever resort to the use of logical fallacies in the “defense” of disbelief.


 By the end of your article I could only conclude that you must have only spoken with children or no one at all when you compiled your list of Christian arguments.


I would be interested to see this list of Christian arguments. The only thing I see is a chapter explaining logical fallacies, illustrated by hypothetical arguments. On a side note, I have actually heard many of those arguments over the years.

I usually enjoy the challenge that comes from refuting atheist arguments because it usually leads me to a fuller understanding of what I believe and why,




 so I printed off your article in hopes that it would direct me to areas that I need to do more research.


Which is a clear copyright violation, as stated on the website.  However, I suppose if it’s too much to ask for the reader to understand the introduction of a chapter, following proper etiquette and copyright law would be out of the question.


 Unfortunately I was able to refute everything you said,


Refuting arguments that don’t exist is quite the task.  I’d love to hear about it.


 or show why your own reasoning is flawed right off the top of my head.


I would be most interested in learning how there is a single flaw in well-established rules of logic.


 You have taken arguments that either are never used, or are the poorest examples of Christian apologetics you could find. I have to wonder if you did so on purpose.


Either that, or I used hypothetical religious arguments, which is I think what I stated in the introduction.  Perhaps another copy and paste would suffice.


I will support examples of these poorly developed techniques with hypothetical religious arguments in order to reinforce the often-confusing explanations.


The examples are indeed very poor compared to those from learned scholars, but they are mainstream and they are simple. The point of the chapter is to explain logical fallacies. It is not an attempt to defeat Christian arguments, and it was never represented as such. 


 For every argument that you shot out of the air I was able to provide a better one instantly.


Good.  I would hope that there are a few Christians who could develop better arguments than hypothetical ones generated solely for the purpose of serving as simple illustrations.


 It's possible that you would be able to reason against my stronger arguments,




 but the fact that you, in every case, chose the weakest argument available to refute makes me wonder at the strength of your position.


If the readers have not caught on by now, the purpose of the chapter was to illustrate the use of logical fallacies.  It was not to defeat Christian arguments.

I'm going to continue reading your material because I understand that though one article may be poor, others may not be and I like a challenge.


I can only hope that the writer takes the time to comprehend the purpose of the chapter. However, I’m often puzzled by how delusional an individual must be in order to be challenged when deciding between a thirty-six hour resurrection (or talking donkey, or mass-murdering god, etc.) and an urban legend.


 I was an atheist five years ago, and if I ever become convinced that I should be again I will be.


Perhaps the writer would like to share what solid argumentation lead him to leave atheism and join a religion (most likely the very same religion that his society endorses – strange, no?). I’ve read dozens of arguments from learned believers becoming learned disbelievers, but the opposite is quite rare.  Perhaps the writer would share his story since his reasoning has the potential to convert untold numbers of skeptics.


 But if this is the best that the position has to offer I may become inclined to hide the fact that I ever was one.


An explanation of logical fallacies is a non-argument. I don’t think the best that my position has to offer is an explanation of fallacious logic.

Thank you for the demonstration of poor atheist reasoning.


Please let the writer demonstrate how explanations of fallacious logic are somehow a reflection of poor reasoning.






I skimmed over the section on "science to the rescure" and want to suggest that the Bible does not say that the Sun was created on day 4.


Okay, let us consider this proposal.


 The verb on day 4 is "let there be", connoting appearance and not creation.


How does “let there be” even begin to imply appearance over creation? I agree that it can mean either, but in context, the likely choice should be obvious. The tense of the verb in verse 14 doesn’t contradict the writer’s position, but there is an elaboration in verse 16 that states “And God made two great lights.” Since looking at the English rendition won’t accomplish much, we should consider the original Hebrew word, asah. Of the hundreds of uses in the Old Testament, very rarely does it mean anything other than make or produce (in the sense of making, not showing). Furthermore, there are numerous accounts in the Bible that state God made the universe in six days. It makes little sense to suggest that he made nothing on the fourth day (and instead merely cleared the atmosphere).


 This is the point at which the primitive atmosphere became transparent, thus allowing us to see the disk of the sun. Apparently, the plants that were created earlier received the Sun's light through a translucent atmosphere.


I don’t think I could draw up a better ad hoc explanation. This is what I speak of so many times in the book about an apologist forcing puzzle pieces to fit with predetermined conclusions. In other words, the apologist thinks, “What is the most likely conclusion that will still support the level of inaccuracy that I’m willing to tolerate?” There is no textual support for the writer’s idea, but it works well ad hoc.


Look at Genesis 1:1:In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (NASB)




“created” – the Hebrew word is bara, which means that God created the things which were created out of NOTHING


I would agree, but it leads to a (in this instance, irrelevant) contradiction or error on the part of the apologist. God creates (Hebrew bara) man in chapter one, but forms him from dust in the chapter two. If bara means to create from nothing, this contradicts chapter two.


“heavens and earth” -  the Hebrew words are shamayim (pl) / shameh (sing) and ‘eres, respectively. When they appear together, it means the entire physical universe.1


The original concept of heaven is clearly a dome over the earth where the firmament, sky oceans, angels, and throne of God reside. There are a number of verses to support this idea that I detail in the book, but I don’t know of any to support the writer’s proposal. Even if the writer’s proposal is correct, where does one obtain such an idea?  How does it mean the entire physical universe, and not the entire universe?  Furthermore, why do we see God making (Hebrew asah) animals? The same term is used to describe the making of the sun. Was there some sort of force hiding them, like the sun was hidden? I believe this is another clear case of ad hoc reasoning.


The sun was already there before day 1.. engaging science, there would be gravitational "issues" if the Sun were not there before the Earth, of course!


If we engaged science, this leads to a plethora of later difficulties for the apologist. He is best to just resort to the miracle claim.


Are you familiar with Dr. Hugh Ross?


I am somewhat familiar with him, but I don’t think I’ve read much of his work. It is my understanding the he is an old earth creationist, who also denies evolution. I find this kind of strange since one need not subscribe to both in order to maintain biblical inerrancy. Anyone who rejects the fossil records, relies on the probability argument, and believes the Noachian flood killed all people on earth isn’t going to warrant too much of my attention.


 What about "old-earth" creationists.


I’m not sure I value OEC opinions much more than YEC opinions.  While they are at least willing to acknowledge scientific evidence, they often twist the biblical text to support their positions.  Where the YEC twists evidence to support the Bible, the OEC twists the Bible to support the evidence.


 There are many Christians who hold to this view, which is consistent with science.


Yes, the last time I checked, about forty percent of Christians accept overwhelming scientific evidence that the earth is billions of years old.


 I believe that this is the best interpretation of the Genesis 1.


I do not, and I hope I have provided a sufficient response to the proposal.


 And very rational, wouldn't you say?


Rational, but not accurate, in my judgment.

Please respond!







I was just looking at your site, and just briefly scanning it,  I was astonished that having a PhD as you state,  you can take Jesus' statements out of context to such a degree that I seriously doubt you ever even went to college.


If I did not have a good understanding of indoctrination, conditioning, and persuasion, I would be astonished that someone who reads a story about a dead man coming back to life but cannot appreciate it as a work of fiction had graduated Kindergarten. A good rule of thumb is to not insult another’s intelligence if you are the one who believes in talking animals.




The following letter was posted on a website over two months ago. News of its existence came to me in an email.


I came across this morning a book titled, “Biblical Nonsense.” Seeing as the author made it available in PDF format on his’ website, I figured I would give it a read. As the title suggests, it is definitely not a book written in support of the Bible. I have only just begun the book, so I cannot comment much. However, I find it interesting how the book starts out. In just the third paragraph of the introduction, the author Dr. Jason Long states:


People often ask me why I spend a great deal of time denouncing and disproving the Bible. Although I can’t offer an exact reason, my passion is probably driven by the salient danger created by Christianity and its subsequent influence on nearly two billion people every day. While the evil forces of certain deceitful religions have somewhat subsided in more recent times, the hatred inadvertently generated by these belief systems remains the greatest threat to humankind’s continued existence. In the past 2000 years, Christianity has been guilty of initiating several wars and crusades resulting in thousands of needless deaths, blatantly oppressing women to the point of worthlessness, abhorrently justifying the enslavement of Africans and perpetuating cruelties upon them we would rather just forget, shamelessly driving its followers to hang or burn alleged witches, nearly exterminating the entire Native American population, and inconspicuously robbing billions of people of countless man-hours that could have been much better spent on improving our planet. Someone certainly needs to address these issues, and the book most of the Western world swears by demands a thorough critical analysis.


Why does it seem that so many of the books that are written with the expressed goal of attacking the validity of the Bible ultimately start out with this same outlook?


My answer would be because it is a salient point. Let us see if it can be demonstrated otherwise.


Please don’t tell me that it is because it is true – give us a fact check please. Comparatively speaking, Dr. Long does not have a case.


Let us see.


Dr. Long offers “thousands of needless deaths” at the hands of Christianity and I counter with the millions of deaths caused by atheists in the twentieth century alone. See: Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev in the USSR, Hitler, Mao Zedong, and the Khmer Rouge. Anyone of these non-religious regimes makes the mention of Christianity (over a 2000 year period no less) not even worth considering. It is like talking about the greatest linebackers in NFL history and then referencing your son who is in the peewee league.


Yes, the oldest and most tired argument in the book, along with the errant listing of Hitler as an atheist (he publicly professed Catholicism, and there are a few anecdotes that he didn’t really believe it). Atheism is a religious stance, not a religious belief. There is no philosophy or morality inherently linked to it. The problem with claiming that atheism has caused the injustice is that their religious beliefs did not drive them to be the men that they were. How many people were killed strictly because, and for no other reason than, the killers had no belief in a god? A lengthy treatise on the subject of Russian history over the past two hundred years will have to wait for another day, but while we can say that a great travesty took place under regimes lead by atheists, we cannot say that atheism was the cause of the injustice. If Lenin and Stalin are guilty of mass murder, their lack of a proper ethical code is the reason. In the words of George H. Smith:


“This irrational and grossly unfair practice of linking atheism with communism is losing popularity and is rarely encountered any longer except among political conservatives. But the same basic technique is sometimes used by the religious philosopher in his attempt to discredit atheism. Instead of communism, the sophisticated theologian will associate atheism with existentialism – which projects a pessimistic view of existence – and he will then reach the conclusion that atheism leads to a pessimistic view of the universe. It seems that the next best thing to convincing people not to be atheists is to scare them away from it.”


The writer makes the common Christian mistake of confusing correlation with causation on this particular issue. Christianity itself was the primary cause for the actions I listed. I’m not interested in what Christians have done, but what Christianity has caused people to do. Otherwise I would offer a list far longer than anyone would care to read.


The notion that mass murder, enslavement, and suffering exist under atheistic regimes is no doubt true. The same can be said about Christian regimes and other Christian governments throughout history. The type of regime is irrelevant, however, because the issues at hand, once again, are the evils carried out strictly in the name of Christianity. Those who offer such an assertion can knock down their straw men all they want, but discerning readers are going to know that they aren’t dealing with the real issue. I would also like an explanation on how areas with polytheistic religions are more peaceful and have less suffering than monotheistic societies. Do more gods equal more happiness?


The argument disintegrates into the assertion that a Christian dictator would not have committed such atrocities, but this position is likewise without merit. In order for a leader to operate a moral regime, he needs one thing that Christianity, at its basest nature, does not provide: a moral code. One can be a Christian and claim Christian beliefs without adopting every aspect of the faith. Thus, we must add a sense of morality as a virtue for an ethical foundation to be free of the atrocities we witnessed in the former Soviet Union. But since we have morality, we no longer need religion. The only thing we needed from the beginning was a sense of morality; and since no one can deny that the witch burners and crusaders had just as much religious faith as the Christians of today, it only makes sense that faith is an impediment to moral behavior. The argument is now further reduced to the suggestion that Christians often have an attached code of morality, which is not something I would dispute. But so do most atheists. The question then becomes which group has the highest probability of producing an individual with ethical behavior.


Dr. Long states that Christianity is guilty of “abhorrently justifying the enslavement of Africans” and I remind you that even if we accept the notion that it was purely Christians who perpetrated the crime of slavery,


And when did I ever make the notion that it was purely Christians who perpetrated the crime of slavery? Nowhere of course, so we have another straw man. My argument was that Christianity and the Bible were used as tools to promote and justify slavery.


 it was also in large part, Christian abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison who fought for the end of slavery.


Of course most of the abolitionists were Christians.  Who else was there in America in the nineteenth century?  Hindus?  Atheists? The point is that religion provoked, justified, and prolonged slavery.


Dr. Long mentions the loss of “countless man-hours that could have been much better spent on improving our planet” and I remind you of the countless positive improvements made at the hands of Christianity.


I would love to have a list of accomplishments that were carried out strictly for the reason of the accomplisher’s Christian belief. I would then list all the time wasted that an all-powerful being required us to set aside to worship it. We could compare the two.


The point, of course, is that it seems more and more the modus operandi of atheists to portray Christianity in the harshest of light (case in point: this post on 3/13). Given the real history of the world, it hardly seems warranted.


I have demonstrated why it is warranted. The writer has yet to demonstrate why it does not.


Dr. Long also makes several attempts to make painfully clear that he underwent an “honest, dispassionate, and emotionless analysis of the Bible.” And yet, given his above statements on the alleged horrors of Christianity, how is it possible for me to believe him?


Alleged horrors of Christianity? Is the writer arguing that Christianity did not have a hand in these horrors? I doubt that even the most ardent believer who is aware of the No True Scotsman Fallacy would ever offer such an assertion. The proof in my honest, dispassionate, and emotionless analysis of the Bible is in my undertaking to determine the truth wherever it lead. I was able to put aside my indoctrination when I elected to partake in this task. I had nothing to defend; the writer obviously does.


He goes on to state about Christian defenders of the faith, “As for the Christian defense of these findings, I could see a lot of straw grasping. Their best representatives, having obtained bogus doctorates from self-accredited paper mills, stretched and twisted biblical text in order to make it fit with their predetermined agendas.” I hear echoes of Richard Dawkins in this statement, always trying to discredit the credentials of Christian apologists. Do your own investigation and you will find plenty of reputable apologists with – guess what – real degrees!


And this has what to do with the fact that the best representatives have bogus doctorates from paper mills? Barnes, Baugh, Hovind, Slusher, all of ICR, all of Patriot, all of Trinity – not to mention all of the seminary and bible schools that continue indoctrination of beliefs as opposed to honest evaluation of the evidence. Yes, there are a few apologists with degrees from real institutions. I never said there wasn’t. The point of interest is that well over half of all apologists have graduated from diploma mills and seminaries. How many skeptics and evolutionary scientists graduated from bogus paper mills and schools that taught the indoctrination of evolutionary biology?  Zero?


The degrees themselves do not so much concern me, however – in the same manner, I have resisted the urge to point out Dr. Long’s degree that is irrelevant to this study of the Bible.


I readily point out myself that I do not have formal training in biblical analysis. My eight years of education after high school are strictly in scientific discipline. I minored in biology, which enabled me to understand the unifying theory of life. I minored in psychology, which enabled me to understand the phenomena of indoctrination, confirmation bias, and cognitive dissonance that help explain why people of this age still believe in a book with a talking donkey. I majored in chemistry, which enabled me to practice enormous amounts of critical thought. I earned a doctorate in pharmacy, which enabled me to do large amounts of independent research and analyze the validity of published studies. I did not go to a seminary school where I would sit along side a group of people who had believed in Christianity since birth and listen to the lectures of another individual who had also believed in Christianity since birth. There is a major difference in schools of education and schools of indoctrination. In one, you analyze evidence to draw conclusions. In the other, you start with a conclusion, analyze evidence, and draw conclusions that do not impede upon the original conclusion.


 A degree might get you in the door, but it is the honest and accurate analysis of the critic or the Biblical scholar that is important. Dr. Long and so many atheists would have you believe that the Christian scholars are actively perpetrating lies to support the faith


Who would have guessed another straw man? Where did I ask my audience to believe that Christian scholars are actively perpetrating lies? I have consistently maintained that they are convinced of what they are teaching – and are therefore not lying. I’m not going to go into persuasive psychology at this point, but the Christian scholars have often been indoctrinated as children into believing the veracity of their religion – and all subsequent studies have built around this indoctrination. What percentage of Christian scholars began with the notion that the Bible is the word of God? 99%? What percentage of Muslim scholars began with the notion that the Qur’an was the word of God? 99%? What percentage of Mormon scholars began with the notion that the Book of Mormon was the word of God? 99%?  I hope I’m not the only one who sees the problem here. Christian scholars are actively perpetrating misinformation that they have come to believe.


or that they are so delusional that they cannot tell the difference.


Yep. Anyone who places historical veracity, much less faith, in a book with a talking donkey is delusional in the strictest definition. They have a fixed, false belief. It is fixed because the belief will not change (at the own admission of the scholars) upon the introduction of new evidence. It is presumed false for the same reason that every other ancient religion is presumed false.


 The question I ask of you is who do you believe – Dr. Long, who already in the third paragraph of his book has misrepresented several historical observations of Christianity and also misrepresents Christian apologists?


I have demonstrated, hopefully to the satisfaction of my readers, that I have not misrepresented the history of Christianity and the positions of Christian apologists. If anyone disagrees, I would be happy to discuss the matter further.


Or do you give credence to Christian apologists and scholars who have honestly devoted their lives to a better understanding of the Bible, some to a level well beyond the abilities of 99.9% of the population?


Should we give credence to the writer’s belief that Christianity is true, or give credence to Hindu apologists who have honestly devoted their lives to a better understanding of the Vedas, some to a level well beyond the abilities of 99.9% of the population? Should we give credence to the writer’s belief that Christianity is true, or give credence to Mormon apologists who have honestly devoted their lives to a better understanding of the Book of Mormon, some to a level well beyond the abilities of 99.9% of the population? Should we give credence to the writer’s belief that Christianity is true, or give credence to Islamic apologists who have honestly devoted their lives to a better understanding of the Qur’an, some to a level well beyond the abilities of 99.9% of the population? I hope the writer spots the fundamental flaw with his argument. Christian scholars do not dedicate their lives to a better understanding, but rather an increase in knowledge.


I give little credence to any apologist or scholar, regardless of position, who has made up his mind in childhood that a certain supernatural being existed and that a certain book is his declaration to the world. I have a great understanding of the psychology behind this and will explain it in a minute.


I will wait to make any further judgments about Dr. Long’s reasoning at this point without reading the entire book.


Which is only logical.


Instead, I would like to further discuss this idea of the Christian apologist being delusional. It seems atheists are well invested in this idea.


Disbelievers in the Bible are certainly invested in ideas that demonstrate the core reasons for people believing nonsense, whether that nonsense is a prophet flying on a winged horse into heaven, an angel delivering golden tablets to be translated by looking into a hat, or an all-powerful being making a donkey talk. A delusion started in childhood and perpetuated by the perceived appropriateness of society is the only thing other than total ignorance, as far as I know, that makes people believe in these things. Does the writer not believe the Muslim apologist is delusional about the Qur’an? Perhaps he would like to share what good understanding of the Qur’an leads him to believe that Mohammed flew on a winged horse. Does the writer not believe the Mormon apologist is delusional about the Book of Mormon? Perhaps he would like to share what good understanding of the Book of Mormon leads him to believe that the Jews established a North American kingdom many centuries ago. What about Hindu apologists? What about Buddhist apologists? Just about every religion has its apologists, and all of them claim to be able to resolve contradictory claims.


 A cursory reading of Dawkins, Sam Harris, and now Dr. Long makes clear that they do not take seriously the credentials of intelligent Christians. Why? It couldn’t be that a rational, reasonable, and intelligent person would actually believe in the Bible, could it? They have to be delusional!


Plenty of intelligent people believe the Bible, so the sarcasm contains yet another straw man from the writer. A completely rational person would not believe in the Bible, but a reasonably rational person would – only due to the perceived appropriateness that society has placed on such a belief. However, I don’t believe that a rational outsider who had ever heard of religion would partake in a biblical analysis and end up believing its wild claims. Nor would a reasonable outsider. Nor would an intelligent outsider. It is the indoctrination process and importance placed during that process that makes otherwise rational, reasonable, and intelligent people believe wild things.


The Biblical landscape is literally painted with scholars who have investigated the Bible to its’ fullest. Are we honestly to believe that someone who has studied the Bible – not just in reading it casually, but studied its’ history, its’ languages, and its’ cultures down to the most minute detail – is so delusional that they could not see with rational thought processes the many contradictions atheists purport to have found? Further, which one is the most likely to accurately assess the alleged Biblical errors – the professional scholar? Or, the laymen critic with no other knowledge than a cursory reading of the Bible (relying ostensibly on an expressed purpose of looking for errors)? If you said the latter, then you are not quite the freethinker you think you are.


This will take some to explain.


Let’s face it: the vast majority of people who have spent a great deal of time studying the Bible believe it is the word of God. That's an inescapable reality. Should we leverage some credibility to specific claims based on the position of the authorities? Of course, stating that ninety percent of experts agree with position A is usually a valid point to make. It does not, however, stand on its own as the ultimate answer to a question. I'm perfectly aware that the vast majority of experts in the history of the Ancient Near East will back positions that are beneficial to Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or all three. I would be foolish to think otherwise. What I hope readers will realize is that, due to conditioned indoctrination and active bias, the distribution of expert opinion shouldn't, in this particular instance, be considered as evidence, much less an adequate argument.


My claim of bias refers not only to the confirmation bias practiced by the experts, but to the affiliation bias of the sample as well. People who have an interest in pursuing knowledge of the history of Christianity are most certainly those who have already been indoctrinated with the importance of it. If they believe in Christianity ardently enough to pursue a career from it, they are unquestionably more likely to interpret evidence so that it is favorable to their preconceived notions. Should it come as any surprise that the vast majority of experts in any religion believe in the religion that they study, even though no religious belief is even close to holding a majority opinion in the world? Christians make up thirty-three percent (and falling!) of the world, yet ninety percent of experts in Christianity probably practice it. Muslims make up twenty-one percent of the world, yet ninety percent of experts in Islam probably practice it. Mormons make up less than one percent of the world, yet ninety percent of experts in Mormonism probably practice it.


As for confirmation bias, it is patently prevalent that apologists of every religion begin with the conclusion that their Scriptures are true and work backwards to find the supportive evidence. They are not interested in the most likely conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence, but rather the most likely conclusion that doesn’t invalidate their beliefs. We can say with unflinching near-certainty that if Christian apologist A were born with religion X instead of Christianity, Christian apologist A would instead be just as confident that religion X was the correct belief. There are countless apologists for every religion who claim to be able to prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that each of their respective, contradictory belief systems is true. If ninety percent of scholars studying Christianity agree with a position on a hypothetical dichotomy that favors Christianity, I would make the bet every time that roughly ninety percent of the scholars came into the field as Christians. The opinion of such authorities, who began with a certain conclusion instead of analyzing the evidence to reach it, cannot be trusted simply because they are authorities. Conclusions based upon evidence are important; conclusions based upon evidence that has been interpreted to support an a priori assumption should be taken with a handful of salt.


Rightfully so, I put little stock in the opinions of people who began studying Christianity years after they accepted the existence of a talking donkey. If we brought in an intelligent, rational group of people who were never indoctrinated, who were never even exposed to the idea of religion, and asked them to become experts in the history of the Near Middle East, I would be extremely confident that after their studies were complete, it would be the unanimous consensus of the group that the Bible is bunk. You just can't trust those with huge emotional investments to be objective on critical issues. Not only does the problem of prematurely deciding experts reach outside of Christianity, it continues outside of religion. Think of other fields of study that skeptics and rationalists consider to be based upon myths. What percentage of people who are UFO experts believe that UFOs are flying saucer-shaped vehicles piloted by gray aliens? I haven’t been able to find a statistic on the question, if such a study has even been undertaken, but should we not feel confident that the vast majority of UFO experts are UFO apologists? People with such interests will naturally join such fields, leading off with the determination to validate their unusual beliefs, continuing with the notion that seemingly inexplicable phenomena have radical solutions, and striving to convince people of their outlandish beliefs.


Just like the biblical defenders who are prone to practice confirmation, UFO apologists don't pay much attention to evidence and explanations that debunk their beliefs; they find ways of making it consistent. Since they are not interested in simple, rational explanations for sightings (just as religious believers are not interested in simple, rational explanations for miracles), they begin with premise that the sighting is authentically alien (just as religious believers begin with the premise that the miracle is authentically divine) and mold explanations without breaking their foolish premise (ditto).


Have you ever seen the pseudoscientific techniques and equipment used on television shows that delve into the world of ghost hunting? Like the Young Earth Creationists who inappropriately use carbon dating on new apples (reference), these ghost hunters will determine that unusual electromagnetic fields present in old houses, typically caused by bad wiring, are spirits of the deceased looking for someone among the living to avenge their deaths. While this ghost hunting process may seem foolish to discerning Christian readers, it is no different than Christian scholars using ridiculous apologetic and hermeneutical studies to eliminate obvious textual inconsistencies. In each discipline, the simple explanation is ignored while the interesting explanation that advances the preconceived notion is advanced. The same can be said for those who promote cryptozoology, gambling systems, mind reading, paranormal beings, astrology, etc. The believers have the desire to become the experts; disbelievers have no real interest in the matter. Every now and then, you will find rationalists dedicated enough to devote some time to explain that glowing spherical objects in ghostly photographs are illuminated dust particles, memories of alien abduction are the result of sleep paralysis, and tales of vengeful gods who demand to be worshipped are remnants of ancient folklore.


These rationalists, who have studied with great interest but without preconceived notions, are the ones who offer natural explanations for unusual phenomena. There is every compelling reason to believe that average people who take the time to learn both sides of the debate, and who did not enter with interest in the supernatural, will agree with the naturalistic explanations offered by skeptics. The skeptic, because he has no emotional investment in Bigfoot, will eventually conclude that the creature is based upon myth since the evidence doesn't support the claims of the believer. Despite the opinion of the objective skeptic, and with no good evidence in favor of the existence of Bigfoot, the believer is going to continue believing what he wants to believe, thanks in part to dubious evidence and crippled thinking skills. The Bigfoot enthusiast will not listen to reason because he convinced himself long ago of the veracity of his beliefs. Otherwise, he will have to accept that he wasted his life on nonsense, and who wants to believe that? To someone who has never heard of the Judeo-Christian God or the American Bigfoot, the nature of each should be no different. Since no special privilege has been bestowed upon either entity since childhood, debunking the existence of one should be no more difficult than the other. Intelligent believers in each, however, often pose a problem, because they are very gifted at coming up with ridiculous scenarios that maintain their increasingly ridiculous proposals. Likewise, intelligent apologists are quite skillful at making an argument seem valid when a critical eye can tell that it is not. I see the solution to this problem, not as a matter of debunking those ridiculous explanations that believers offer, but rather as a matter of exploring the best options to make them appreciate the underlying reasons for their beliefs. Once this is accomplished, the foolishness of the defense should become apparent.


I will provide some more commentary in due time. For now, if you are already familiar with this book from Dr. Long and would like a Christian response on the concepts presented, please see: http://www.tektonics.org/lp/longj01.html


I find it incredibly sad that someone would actually appeal to this individual. I’ve yet to find even a Christian scholar who takes him seriously. Furthermore, I have already addressed that article all I’m going to here.




Hello again Dr Long,

I found that you had in fact updated your book and published it.  Congratulations on being published, I know a lot of work goes into getting over that hurdle.


Thanks, but I didn’t really accomplish anything by going with publish-on-demand. I attempted to be published through traditional companies, but the letters I received back were unkind. The book is too broad and summary really.

I visited your site today and noticed that you have letters of appreciation and letters of disapproval and I'm the first one on the disapproval list (surprise to me for sure!).  I think the group as a whole would be better labeled as "reviews" or "commentaries".


Opinion noted, but I’m not going to change it.


It would also be nice if you gave the disapproval group the same level of respect that you gave to the appreciation group and not do an editorial on them


Opinion noted, but it’s my website. Letters of disapproval are editorialized because they deserve to be. Many readers might be considering the same arguments, which need to be debunked.


 - although the comment that my review was on the earlier unpublished version of your book is warranted.



I'd love to see the updated version - hopefully with more pure science


The scientific section contains pure scientific findings, just not science that the Christian finds comforting. It is not my intent to reargue for the conclusions provided by mainstream science, but merely to provide them for those who perhaps don’t know that the world isn’t really six thousand years old.


or references to your sources,


References are given when references are needed. It was not the intent of the book to methodically reference every single point that creationists would object to. For instance, it is well-established that the Noachian flood would have the consequences listed. Those who accept the findings of mainstream science will accept these conclusions, those who do not accept them will not.


 but based on the Amazon reviews it is a "hit or miss book" with the reviewers tending to be extremely biased one way or the other so I will pass on the purchase for now.  It is amazing to me how polarized our world has become.



You might want to take the time to polish your website content (layout is great and easy to navigate) - you appear to have done quite a bit of research, but I didn't notice any footnotes for sources even thought your mention many "experts".  Remember, good science and publishing both give credit where it is due.


I take great care not to appeal to authority. I point to scholarly consensus when it is appropriate. There is little need for great elaboration and methodical referencing when the issue is not in doubt. I do not argue that something is true on the weight of expert opinion, but when the experts are open to being wrong yet they openly ridicule ideas that are made against the current position, I find there is little reason to consider them at length myself. This is not to say that I don’t have a firm grasp on evolution and creation, but rather I have the ability to see that apologists for creationism lack the fundamental understanding of precise mechanisms of evolution.

I did visit the site you pointed to below (www.talkorigins.org) and I see a lot of evolutionary bias.


You see mainstream science.  Science is the pursuit of a conclusion based on evidence. Uneducated writers are perhaps used to apologetic dogma.  Apologetics is the pursuit of evidence based on a conclusion. Creationism isn’t discussed at talkorigins because there is no reason to do so. When creationists develop real evidence and real arguments for their position, they will be acknowledged. Arguments from incredulity don’t count.


One point being "The fundamental unity of life" which while awesomely points to the "universal genetic code", it quite handedly fails to address the remarkable diversity of life


So why don’t we say God did it and solve everything that way? Scientific study doesn’t work that way. The diversity of life is expected by natural selection itself. What we see by those who make such a statement is a fundamental ignorance of evolution. Not every part of study answers every part of the discipline. That might be a little unusual to a creationist, but that’s the way scientific endeavors go.


 (it just points to how we are able to wonderfully classify life into a hierarchy)


Ummm, no it doesn’t. I’m not going to waste time giving a lecture on evolution. You can either grasp a fundamental concept, or you cannot. You will either truly be open to the idea that the religion that everyone has accepted since birth is wrong, or you will not. You will either see religion for what it is, or you will not.


 which has yet to be proven to have happened by evolution


Again, a fundamental misunderstanding of science. Nothing is “proven” in science. We have laws, facts, theories, and hypotheses. Evolution is a fact. A fact that contradicts the Old Testament.


 (yes, there are theories


Yes, a fundamental misunderstanding. “It’s called the Theory of Evolution so it’s only a theory!” This line of arguments has grown very old, and I hesitate to address it. Do we say gravity doesn’t exist because it’s only a theory? No. The existence of gravity is a fact; its mechanisms are proposed theories, backed up by facts. Explanations do not enter into the realm of fact and law. The explanations for why and how evolution occurred are theories. That evolution occurred is a fact. There is no scientific debate. Opponents are the dogmatic fanatics who have uncritically accepted a book taught as sacred by society. I could say it a million times. There is no scientific debate.


- but the chain of evolution still has morel links missing then present).


Missing links?  Care to elaborate?


  The site is also linked to what I would deem a very hostile site (panda's thumb) which is very disrespectful to anyone that is not an evolutionist.


Perhaps because creationist ideas do not deserve respect. I would not respect the ideas of someone who has psychosis; I would try to help him understand why he thinks what he thinks. I would not respect the ideas of someone who believes in a talking donkey; I would try to help him understand why he thinks what he thinks. The psychotic individual has a neurotransmitter imbalance. The religious individual has undergone childhood and societal indoctrination. There is a reason why I’m not trying to convince readers that Thor isn’t wielding his hammer.

As for me, I'm still a believer and a scientist (engineer) at heart and both of those aspects grow stronger every day.


As an engineer, how would you rate the effectiveness of the human heart and its coronary arteries? A good engineer should recognize poor design.
I recently pickup a book titled The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel, which comes from your opposite perspective - atheist becomes Christian.


There is little reason to believe Strobel was ever an atheist. He was certainly never a reasoned one, and never openly proclaimed such beliefs at the time.


I have found it to be very well done and convincing as he argues the tough questions face to face with the experts.


I am sorry to say that only the absolute bottom rung of creationists regard the works of Strobel with any esteem. Most have learned to avoid the nonsense of Strobel and McDowell, opting instead for Craig or Archer. I have not read the book, so I cannot comment on it directly.  I have, however, read a critical review. Perhaps the reader would like to read one as well, not that it will change any minds. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/paul_doland/strobel.html. Strobel’s ignorance, particularly exhibited on Faith Under Fire, was enough for any objective person to disregard his opinions.

You seem to talk down to those who you don't feel are as enlightened as you.


It has probably gone that way with time, but I recognize that I used to be much more patient. It’s not a matter of who I feel is more or less enlightened. I have a greater understanding (not raw knowledge) of the Bible than anyone who believes it was influenced by a god. I see no exception to that claim. One who steps outside of a religion and sees the origins of the religion can appreciate it better than any apologist for it. Anyone who can appreciate that Allah did not send a winged horse for his prophet (based upon arguments for the mythology of Islam, not its contradictions to another myth) has a better appreciation for Islam than anyone who believes that the horse existed. Yes, I am more enlightened than anyone who literally believes in the veracity of the Bible. It takes one stands outside the religion to appreciate that.


A scientist uses reason, a debator uses persuasion - you attempt to belittle. 


I use reason and persuasion, but reason is apparently not a concept easily graspable by creationists.


Please give those who take the time to write a constructive reasonable review of your book credit for the effort


I honestly don’t think more than one or two people who wrote letters of disapproval actually read the book. Judging by the grammar (I’m not perfect), I don’t think too much effort went into the letters either.


as a minimum, give them the same respect that you give those who write a letter of approval and not editorialize them.


Suggestion noted but rejected. Letters of disapproval will be commented on.


As the owner of the site, you control who gets published in these sections


Everyone who writes, does not plagarize, and does not request anonymity gets at least the first letter published.


if they are not constructive or are abusive (to anyone) then the right thing to do is take the high road and not publish their comments (this includes the letter of approval section).


The right thing to do? How does the publishing of letters sent to me about my website relate to morality? How about each person mind his own business and not lecture others on morality when no morality is involved? The writer is way off base here.

I do think a counter reply to the site that did an indepth review of your book is in order, but in a different section as it was not a letter of disapproval.


Suggestion noted but rejected. I will ultimately organize my website how I see fit.


Be constructive and use reason and logic (and document references to back your position).  This will go a lot further than your opinion.


The irony. A person who rejects evolution and accepts creationism suggesting a person use reason and logic. How about this?  If the Bible said that earth was four billion years old and that God used evolution from a single ancestor, would the Bible then be wrong? If not, we have a great understanding of the believer’s reason and logic.


Here's a quote from your site: "As a last request, I would ask any readers who still stubbornly insist that Christianity is the one true religion to allow others, including their children, to observe their own religious beliefs without fear of punishment or disappointment from you. If the truth is strong enough, it will find them. The majority of the world’s hostilities would vanish overnight if everyone would adhere to this simple guideline."

Last time I checked it was the fanatics of the Muslim religion and communists that were waging the majority of the violence on the planet.


Last time I checked, Christians waged the majority of the violence and most impeded scientific progress for centuries. Communism, which is not a religion, may have been responsible in the last century for the majority; and Muslims may have been responsible in this century. But it is Christianity that has plagued humanity for the longest – and American society at the present. I recognize, however, that Christianity is not the only problem today. Hence the reason for my statement that if EVERYONE would adhere to this simple guideline, the world’s hostilities would vanish. Of course, comprehension is not everyone’s strong point.


Those who really practice Christianitiy in their lives are caring for the world around them.  There are many who proclaim to be Christians but don't understand what that really means - attending a Christian church and/or being from a Christian family don't make you a Christian.


The irony. A person who criticizes another for a perceived lack of logic utilizes the No True Scotsman Fallacy.

As for "stubbornly insisting that Christianity is the one true religiion", that isn't the Christian way either.


Again, Scotsman.


Firmly believing would be the closest I get to your wording.


A copy and paste will suffice.


Is not Christianity (and other religions) stubborn by nature?  Are the followers not unyielding, firmly resolved, determined, resolute, and persistent in their beliefs?  If I decide that people who believe in a flat earth are stubborn, can I not still have an objective opinion as to the shape of earth based solely upon the evidence, especially if the evidence was reviewed long before I arrived at the conclusion that one side was stubborn?

As for allowing others to observe their own religious beliefs, Christianity teaches that God has given us freedom of choice and that we should do the same with those around us.


Where does Christianity teach freedom of choice? From what I see, we are given rules and regulations that we must follow in order to avoid punishment. Does the Christian consider duress freedom of choice? Probably so, but then again, he believes in a book with a talking donkey, so I guess anything is possible. God isn’t going to punish us for opting out of his plan? If that were the case, and if everyone thought that were the case, would there be as much objection? If the religious right did not attempt to enforce Christian laws, ideals, and morals – and instead recognized freedom of choice – you would find little debate here.


I have also debunked the idea of freedom of choice coexisting with an omniscient god, which I’m not going to get into again.

Take care and may God bless you this day (hopefully that doesn't affend you),


Why would I want blessings from a being that plans to punish me for accepting evidence that relegates his religion back into the heap of hundreds of other ancient ones? I know the writer means well, but yes, it does offend.