Friday, January 13, 2006

An Exercise In Critical Thought...

I recently resurrected my Black Planet page(untouched since 2001) with the intentions of getting in a little evangelizing. While readers of this blog should be familiar with the very basic presentation I put forth (and recognize some of the arguments from a recent post) , I present it here in its entirety:

If the police accused you of committing a crime, you'd insist on evidence.

If somebody accused your significant other of infidelity, you'd insist on evidence.

If a doctor diagnosed you with a disease requiring thousands of dollars in medical bills—or giving you limited time to live—you'd insist on evidence.

If the school system expelled your child, you'd insist on evidence.

If the mechanic gave you a lengthy list of repairs complete with an exceedingly steep bill, you'd insist on evidence.

But somebody can tell you that an invisible, all powerful being lives in the sky, wrote a book thousands of years ago, and wants you to follow his every word...and you require not one shred of evidence?

He fathered himself and came to Earth so he could have himself killed, to save you from himself? All of which he knew would have had to happen since the beginning of time...and this requires no explanation?

For hundreds of years, science has been providing overwhelming evidence showing the Bible to be incorrect, but Christians refuse to even investigate its claims.


...a Christian will rely on the exact same science to heal him/her when ill.

...a Christian will rely on the exact same science to deliver justice during a criminal investigation.

...a Christian will rely on the exact same science to drive, fly, or sail in his/her travels.

...a Christian will rely on the exact same science to provide heat, water, and electricity in his/her home.

What's wrong with this picture?

After Hurricane Katrina, Kanye West spoke out and proclaimed the obvious truth for all to hear:


But think just one step further:
  • Dubya did not create the hurricane and direct it toward the Gulf

  • Dubya did not create the laws of physics which limited the amount of damage the levees could withstand

  • Dubya did not create the extreme institutional racism so deeply embedded in the American system which led to the abject poverty that prevented these poor humans from being able to evacuate (although he is doing his best to contribute to and maintain it)

If you are a Christian, your god did all of this. Even more, according to your Bible, God planned all of this. Every man, woman, and child's death. Every lost home. Every suffering human tragedy is part of god's plan. Dubya was nothing but an instrument of god — George was merely doing God's work.

Additionally, look back even further throughout the horribly oppressed legacy Black people have had in the Americas, and continue to have here, in Africa (genocide, slavery, disease, famine, poverty, etc), and throughout the world. If you believe in god...


What the Bible says about Slavery

*NOTE: Don't be mislead by words like "servant", "bondsman", or "maid" - these situations all imply slavery, as in chattel.

Exodus 21:7
If a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant...

Exodus 21:20-21
And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

[So, you can beat your slave with a stick, and if s/he dies right then or even later that day, you're in trouble. BUT, if s/he lingers and lives for a "day or two" before dying, well, then, that's cool, since s/he's your money (read: PROPERTY) afterall.]

Leviticus 25:44-46
Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever.

Ephesians 6:5
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.

Colossians 3:22
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.

1 Timothy 6:1
Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

Titus 2:9-10
Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

1 Peter 2:18
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward


What the Bible says about Women's Rights

Genesis 3:16
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

1 Corinthians 11:3
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians 14:34-36
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

[Good Christian women keeping silent in church?]

Ephesians 5:22-24
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Colossians 3:18
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

1 Peter 3:1
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands

1 Timothy 2:11-15
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing.

[In case you missed it, this says that women are not allowed to teach, nor are they allowed to be in any position of authority over men.]


What the Bible Says About Abortion

Life does not begin until the first breath is taken:

Genesis 2:7
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Ezekiel 37:5-10
Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not considered a human life:

Exodus 21:22-23
"If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life."

[For those who have trouble with the King James Version: If two men are fighting, and they injure a pregnant woman bystander, causing her to miscarry (terminating the fetus) BUT the woman isn't hurt, then it's all good. BUT if the woman (actual living human) is hurt, we've got problems. This plainly illustrates the view of a fetus not being as important as a living human.]

The Bible places no value on fetuses or infants less than one month old:

Leviticus 27:6
"And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver."

Fetuses and infants less than one month old are not considered persons:

Numbers 3:15-16
"Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD."

God approves of killing fetuses:

Hosea 9:14
"Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts."

Hosea 9:16
"Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb."

Hosea 13:16
"Samaria shall become desolate;for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up."

[God is telling them to commit genocide, including an order to cut open pregnant women's stomachs.]

God sometimes kills newborn babies to punish their parents:

2 Samuel 12:14
"Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die."

God's law sometimes requires the execution (by burning to death) of pregnant women:

Genesis 38:24
"Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt."

[Of further interest, in the particular story, Judah is going to have his pregnant daughter-in-law BURNT alive because she got pregnant through an act that was paid him, Judah, her father in law. Yes, it's his baby. Good family values. Great moral character.]


*Most bible quotes obtained at The Skeptics' Annotated Bible (doubters can feel free to cross-reference: it's good to read the book you stake your life—and eternal afterlife—on.)


franky said...

wow, hard hitting stuff. What's black planet by the way?

DUB said...

Franky, are you sure this isn't a trick question? LOL

Black Planet is a site somewhat like MySpace/Hi5/Friendster...but for black folk/interests. When it started up ('99-'00?) it had potential, but instead of having any positive influence or focus on issues it quickly went the way of every other internet site and became a giant festival of debauchery for the 16-21 crowd. It's one big cyber night club. There is a Latino/a version called Mi Gente, and one for Asians too (forget what the name is). There's one for white folk, and it's called the rest of the internet.

Beowulf said...

Do you think your objections are original and that no one can answer them? Please, it’s obvious that you have not done a balanced study of the subjects you mentioned.

"But somebody can tell you that an invisible, all powerful being lives in the sky, wrote a book thousands of years ago, and wants you to follow his every word...and you require not a shread of evidence?"

Are you're being serious here—or just acrimonious and obstinate? There are plenty of “evidences” theists use (rational ones at that) to argue for Gods existence. You can disagree with them, and point out flaws if you can, but it’s not as if theists are pulling out ideas from their underpants. ;-)

"For hundreds of years, science has been providing overwhelming evidence showing the Bible to be incorrect, yet Christians refuse to even investigate its claims."

Really, overwhelming evidence such as? Wait…before you post one, be sure its one that has not been “investigated” (or at least attempted by your standards) by a Christian. We would not want you to contradict your self.

"If you are a Christian, your god did all of this [insert evil here]. Even more, according to your Bible, God planned all of this. Every man, woman, and child's death. Every lost home. Every suffering human tragedy is part of god's plan. Dubya was nothing but an instrument of god - George was just doing God's work."

And you know this how? Hereis a quick resource (with links) on evil. Also, here is something to clear your confusion on Slavery, Abortion, here, here, and specifically for your quote on Exodus 21:22-23 here , Oh--and about Women here .

Have a great day!

DUB said...

Ever heard the joke, eschew effuse obfuscation?

Verbosity and grandiloquence may prove an effective tool of persuasion when dealing with laymen, and it is quite condusive to circumloqution, but I assure you it will get you nowhere here. It really just comes off as an ostentatious facade to mask one's shortcomings. I'm familiar with your postings. I don't have a doubt taht you are indeed an intellectual. But I also think your faith conflicts with an appropriate approach to the subject matter.

Some things in life are black and white (no pun intended).

Of course "my" arguments are not original. Since before xianity, skeptics have been debating the "truths" of beliefs. Xianity in partiular is so full of holes that the arguments against it hardly approach difficult in their conception.

Who are you to call for a "balanced study of the subjects...mentioned"? If I'm not mistaken you're a pre-suppositionalist! How even-sided is your collection of reference and study materials?

How very appropriate of you to put "evidences" in quotations when referring to theists.

You want overwhelming evidence that the world is round? Or that the universe is not geocentric? Or that god doesn't open windows in the "firmament" to allow for rain? Or that bats are not birds? Or that rabbits don't chew cud? Or that pi is not merely 3? Or that germ theory explains illness better than demon possession? Maybe that night and day, light and dark existing prior to the creation of the sun and stars isn't quite feasible? Or maybe that the moon is not a light generating body and stars can not fall to the earth and be crushed underfoot or put in one's pocket? What exactly are you looking for here?

If you bring up interpretation, then I scoff at a god who can't get his own shit straight and straightforward. If you claim he complicated it to test faith, then I question why Abraham, Noah, Moses, the Israelites in Exodus, the Apostles, Paul, etc. needed visual proof, nor can I grasp a true need for "testing" faith in a predeterministic existence - why test an outcome that is already planned?

I would also refer you to OTHER Jewish literature beside the Tanakh. The Jews are, afterall, the people who penned the OT, and in their other, contemporary works they expound on many of the concepts put forth in the Tanakh. These works also provide a larger, more detailed and accurate picture of how they thought about these subjects (e.g. life beginning at first breath, cosmology, etc.). Xians seem to not appeal to these works when looking for clarification, and I understand that this may be due to these works not being canonized, but in all fairness and reality, they were obviously sufficient for the authorities at the relevant time.

DUB said...

BF, I will make an effort to look over the material you've directed me toward and post my responses.

I say make an "effort" not because I question my ability, but becasue I, like many others, have a busy schedule.

I must note that I do not intend this to be a continuing debate with you - for the aforementioned time restraints, and for an honest lack of interest. I will be doing so just to further emphasize my points, as this post - as was clearly noted - was just a very basic introduction to concepts that many living in a xian dominated society hinged on supposed sacredness do not readily have exposure to.

This is especially true of the intended audience, as African Americans don't exactly have the luxury of leisurely approaching these rather trivial subjects when dealing with real life issues of living in an institutionaly opressive society. This is overwhelmingly apparent when looking at the "defense" of biblical slavery you linked to, which is apalling in its mysanthropy and obviously written from a privileged perspective.

Shinsyotta said...

Hey DUB. I made a song you might want to link to from your profile. It was made just after Kanye's comments:
All the best,