Sunday, May 22, 2011

After the Day of No Judgment

"I want to see Harold Camping prosecuted for bilking people out of their money, for destroying lives and families. I want to see his radio empire dismantled and the people who promoted his lies disgraced and ashamed.

It won't happen."

PZ Myers

A follower of Camping with a sign.

"We know without any shadow of a doubt it is going to happen," said Harold Camping, Christian radio mogul and recently failed doomsayer. He also said, "I know it's absolutely true, because the Bible is always absolutely true."

That's the whole problem with religious beliefs right there in those words; complete and utter faith, unassailable, without the slightest shred of healthy doubt or self-censure. The profiteering prophet had received tens of millions in donation money to his ministry for his crackpot predictions of Rapture, Jesus' return and the End Times, so I'm going to go out on a limb now and say he's probably going to do okay. He can disconnect his phone to shut out all the people who would now hound him for being dead wrong (yet again) and cry himself a single tear while soaking in a bathtub full of banknotes. If the nonagenarian does not die in the next few years, you can bet your ass he's going to return with a new set of calculations which will re-position Judgment Day to a later date, and more stupid Christians are going to believe him a third time. After all, Christians have been believing unwaveringly in a 2000-year-old apocalyptic doctrine which still remains unfulfilled to this day. Clearly, they are capable of swallowing any crap.

However, unlike Camping, his followers aren't faring quite so rosily.

A 60-year-old New York City man spent his retirement savings paying for a $140,000 ad campaign for signs on subway cars and bus shelters around the city reading "Global Earthquake! The Greatest Ever - Judgment Day: May 21." Saturday came and went uneventfully and now he's left impoverished with a 94-year-old mother suffering from dementia in a nursing home to care for.

His disappointment was heartbreaking. He said at the hour of truth: "I do not understand why…" as his speech broke off and he looked at his watch. "I do not understand why nothing has happened."

Robert Fitzpatrick Advertisement
Robert Fitzpatrick, standing in front one of the ads he paid for with his retirement money.

Keith Bauer, a 38-year-old tractor-trailer driver took the last week off from work, packed his wife, young son and a relative into their SUV and went on a cross-country road trip to see the places he'd always heard about but never did like the Grand Canyon. Now, he's still stuck on earth, deep in debt with maxed out credit cards and a growing mountain of unpaid bills.

In California, things took a really dark turn when a 47-year-old stay-at-home mother slit the throats and wrists of her 11 and 14-year old daughters with a box-cutter and a paring knife before turning the blades on herself. She did it because she didn't want her kids to suffer through the horrific post-Rapture Tribulation predicted by Harold Camping.

Two years ago, Abby Haddad Carson, left her job as a nurse to "sound the trumpet" on mission trips with her husband, Robert. They stopped working on their house payments and saving for their three teenage kid's college fund - pretty much laying waste to their future by being rid of all their worldly possessions.

Yesterday, on the morning of Camping's Big Day, a middle-aged man in Nairobi committed suicide by hanging himself with an electric cord.

It's not unrealistic to expect more to follow suit after they've sobered up from their haze of insanity and realise that they have no lives to return to. Keep watch on the news - I'm sure there are still more post-apocalyptic tragic stories to come.

Camping's Nairobi Billboard
A billboard proclaiming Camping's prediction in Nairobi.

One is tempted to stick all of this on Harold Camping irresponsible doom-mongering, but he's just a symptom of the real underlying pathology; he's but one single pus-filled blister on the massive pulsating tumour of Christianity and of other organised religions. It was the whole of Christendom which made a false virtue out of faith, and praise those who are willing believe in anything without the even the shakiest foundation of evidence - as if that's a good thing. After two thousand years of believing in talking snakes, virgin births, and men who returned from the dead, is it any surprise that so many Christians would so readily, so uncritically, embrace the kooky fringe prophecies of an aged lunatic who claimed to have uncovered hidden wisdom in their holiest of holy books? Never mind that Camping had no real proof for his predictions - he has faith and so do they!

For those who thought, "What's the harm in religion? What's the harm in letting people be gullible and unsceptical about what they believe in?" This is the harm here, folks. This is why I speak against faith of any shade or stripe. Believe it or not, I'm only trying to help.

Camping Followers with Ad Trailer
A pair of followers of Camping with their camper trailer.

It's really depresses me that even after May 21 came and went without any extraordinary event marking its passing, Camping's followers still believe that the Rapture is still forthcoming, saying that this "delay" is just a further test from God. See, that's the sort of pernicious short circuits that religion installs in people's heads. If something goes their way, then it's 'Hallelujah, praise Jesus!' but when something doesn't, it's yet another fucking test of faith. It's a dangerous self-deluding rationalising mechanism that will just suck them deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole till they are perpetually stuck there. And this goes for every Christians in the world, mind you - particularly those smug ones who think that they are so much saner than these Rapture-ready crazies. Ever prayed and not get what you ask for but then try to justify it lamely by saying that 'God does not give what you want, but what you need'? Same type of mental glitch at work.

In spite of the media's best efforts, Harold Camping still could not be reached for comment. I hope he died of a heart attack.

UPDATE: His heart did not attack him after all. Harold Camping finally emerged from his home on Sunday and told reporters, "Give me a day, no interviews today… I’ve got to live with it, I’ve got to think it out."

UPDATE: He thought it out. On his Family Radio's Open Forum program on May 23, Camping said that Saturday was "an invisible judgment day" in which a spiritual judgment took place. According to him, the physical Rapture will still happen on schedule come October 21, 2011, simultaneously with the universe's destruction at God's hand.

RELATED POST: The Religion Which Cried Wolf.

k0k s3n w4i


Jc said...

When reason is overwhelmed by belief bad things always happen.

Zzzyun said...

it's interesting to see how farfetched the things faith can make people do.

~YM~ said...

When there's only one person having a fixed false belief, we call it a delusion.

When everyone holds on to the same fixed false belief, we call it a religion/faith. :P

dori_lukey said...

Pardon me but I think u're stereotyping all Christians here by saying we all believe in some doomsday hoax by him. And fyi, Harold Camping himself is not a Christian, he denounced the church btw and ask his believers not to have any contacts with the church. You also failed to mention other Christians whom also denounced his message.

Anonymous said...

I feel so sorry for the people who sold everything and feel like suicide is the best option. I am also sorry that Camping brainwashed these people just for his greater good. I hope these people find peace.

k0k s3n w4i said...

Jc: terribly sad, innit?

Zzzyun: oh, we've certainly seen people with faith did worse.

~YM~: well, some crazy beliefs are just more privileged than others.

Anonymous: or better yet, let's hope that these people learned a lesson about the folly of faith.

k0k s3n w4i said...

dori_lukey: "And fyi, Harold Camping himself is not a Christian, he denounced the church btw and ask his believers not to have any contacts with the church."

Oh, so Harold Camping is not a "True Christian™" because you said so? You sir, are committing the No True Scotsman logical fallacy. FYI, just because someone does not fit into your personal idea of a Christian, doesn't mean he isn't one.

He clearly identifies himself as a Christian and runs a Christian radio network spanning 150 markets in the US. He and all his believers believe in the bible.

You said he denounced the "church" as if it's a single, overarching authority when in fact, Christianity consists of many, many fractured churches, schisms and denominations; all with their own interpretations of the Bible. Martin Luther, who basically founded the entire Protestant movement, also denounced the Church of his time. Are you saying that all Protestants are not Christians?

Camping asked his followers to listen to his ministry rather than to their local churches because face it, the whole of Christendom is hardly in agreement about much.

No lukey, Camping and his disappointed Campers are just as Christian as you are. The definition of a Christian simply meant "a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity." They are Christians by definition, no matter how hard you want to distance yourself from them.

"Pardon me but I think u're stereotyping all Christians here by saying we all believe in some doomsday hoax by him. You also failed to mention other Christians whom also denounced his message."

I pardon you, and I pardon you for telling such dreadful lies about what I said. I clearly wrote in my posts:

"And this goes for every Christians in the world, mind you - particularly those smug ones who think that they are so much saner than these Rapture-ready crazies."

"Other Christians who (haha) consider themselves more rational than Camping and co. have pointed out that it is not possible to see the End Time coming. Jesus himself said in Matthew 24:36, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."

I also repeatedly refer to them as "Camping's followers". I also refer to them as Christians because that's who they think they are.

So please, do read carefully what you're trying to disagree with or risk looking like an ass.

I don't think this need to be said but you're also missing the whole point of both my posts. Most, if not all, of Christendom believe in some end-of-the-world scenario, frequently involving Jesus' Second Coming. They may disagree on when it will happen, what the sequence of events will be, or what those events are - but it's an essential doctrine in Christian eschatology. My point is that what Camping's believers believed in is just the short-term version of what the entirety of Christianity is; 2,000 years of unfulfilled prophecies which people such as yourself still hold dear.

Liz said...

Ooh, after reading your reply to dori_lukey, and after my own (very failed) attempt to debate with you on issues of the Christian faith, I wouldn't DARE to say anything about it anymore. I just don't have the intellect. *sigh* (I'd rather talk about 3D movies and how hot actors like Chris Hemsworth are. Sorry xD)

It's true, as a Christian I do believe in the Second Coming, of which you don't. No arguments there. We're just stating our beliefs, which we each have a right to.

But I do want to say that I AM angered by this Camping and his ridiculous Judgment Day claims. He has shamed the entire Christian community and generated misconceptions about Christianity. We are not Doomsday-fanatics nor are all of us as obsessed with it as he is. I wonder where he gets his confidence from. Because the Bible never stated that 21 May 2011 will be the Day of Judgment, which you yourself know. The part I am angered about the MOST is this phrase: "The Bible Guarantees It". The Bible never did, so do not spread such lies! >.<

The harm from his atrocious claims can now be seen. Suicides. Deaths. It's just really sad that these Christians did not look to the Bible themselves and figure out that this Harold Camping is spouting utter nonsense, and instead swallowed his words hook and sinker. :(

dori_lukey said...

LOL. Correct me if I'm wrong because from what I seen from your post, basically the feeling that I get is that you're labelling everyone who has a religion is a gullible believer who accepts everything thrown at him without questioning and that was what prompted me to write the first point. Okay, maybe I shouldn't have phrased that in such a way but my point is, not every Christian or Muslim or anyone with religion is as gullible or stupid as you paint them to be. Why can't believers be critical, anyway?

And it's not only Christians who do such stupid things you know. In 1997, 39 people committed suicide because they believed that the Hale-Bopp comet contains a spaceship that will ferry them to paradise. Christians or not, humans love to make end day predictions. Somehow I think that it's only when Christians make them that it receives wide coverage.

And besides, I don't think that our belief that apocalypse is coming is necessarily a bad thing, it's only what you choose to do with it that is the problem. For example, I could believe that the end of the world may be coming any time soon but I don't know when so in my daily life, I live as if it is my last day, doing the things that I love and should be doing and leaving no regrets behind when I tuck in to sleep.

But then again, this is a never ending debate and as Liz said, I may not have the intellectual and language ability to engage in a fruitful debate with you so I'll just leave it here.

And as a parting shot, if I'm Sigmund Freud, I would really much suspect that there's a reaction formation defense mechanism regarding religion going in your blog. But that's just my observation

k0k s3n w4i said...

Liz: you are free to point out any inconsistencies or inaccuracies in everything i write, liz. that's why i allow my readers to comment freely without any moderation turned on - it keeps me honest. i only ask that you make sure you understand what i'm trying to say first. it's can be quite aggravating when someone suggests that i said something which i clearly didn't; like how lukey accused me of not mentioning other christians of denouncing camping's predictions when in fact i did (and even presented their side of the argument).

it's true that the bible gave no actual dates for judgment day. camping simply pulled some numbers willy-nilly out of the bible by drawing some really questionable connections between the verses. you can read all about his pathetic calculations here. you are angry that camping and his followers claimed that the "bible guarantees it". but tell me something liz, is he really any different from other christians who guarantee that "the bible is the word of god"? after all, both groups operate out of pure faith with no real basis in evidence or facts.

you blame camping for the harm he caused with his atrocious claims, but do you blame the bible for the harm that book made with its atrocious claims? people have killed and died in the name of christianity. consider all the martyrs and all the wars. consider all the witches, heretics, fortune-tellers and false prophets who had been executed. consider that even today, christians still discriminate against homosexuals - all because of the words in that book. camping shared his interpretation of the bible, but it's not his fault that people believed in it. the bible, on the other hand, explicitly asked its believers to kill witches (exodus 22:18) and murder homosexuals (leviticus 20:13), and people have indeed acted on these words. so, why do you not despise the bible as much as you despise camping, liz?

dori_lukey: now, now, lukey. i do not think that everyone who professes to a religion is "a gullible believer who accepts everything thrown at him without questioning." in fact, some believers are quite sceptical, particularly concerning claims which other religions make. the problem is, they don't apply that same scepticism when it comes to their own sacred, unquestionable beliefs. this is why i criticise religions which make a virtue out of faith.

i fully agree that it's not only christians who indulge in apocalyptic predictions. the group which committed suicide under the passing of the hale-bopp - heaven's gate - is a good example but it was a small cult. christianity is the single largest religious group in the world that has adherents who regularly indulge in such doomsday fancies (as demonstrated in my infographic in the previous post). since the current rapture prediction is sponsored by a christian group, i decided to focus my posts on christianity, which in my opinion had historically harmed more people than heaven's gate ever did.

it's probably true that i have some severe hang-ups about religion, but that does not in any way negate any of the arguments i made. i also noticed that you have avoided addressing my central argument: at what point should a person decide if a set of prophecies (and by extension the religion which made them) is untrue? 100 years? 500 years? isn't 2000 years of constant disconfirmation enough? how much longer should humanity wait before dismissing a failed hypothesis and move on?

Liz said...

Of course! Saying that the Bible guarantees that the 21st of May is the Day of Judgment and saying that the Bible is the Word of God is completely different!!! Yes, both groups believe in the Second Coming, based on the premise that everything in the Bible is true and God-breathed (you may disagree, but that's a different issue here). But one group claims that the Bible has "revealed" that 21st May is the end of the world, which for certain, not all Christians agree with!!

I may not have the facts all down pat, but I believe that the Bible IS based on facts and irrefutable evidence. I believe there are many who have set out to discredit the Bible for good, but have ended up believing instead. Since one of your strengths seems to be research, do you think you could find something on the testimonies of such people? :D

I do not blame Harold Camping for the deaths of these people per se. I DID say that it was sad that these people, instead of looking to the Bible and finding the proof for themselves, they believed every word he said. So it is as much THEIR fault, as Camping's for leading them away from the truth that is clearly stated in the Bible: NO ONE KNOWS WHEN THE END WILL COME. No one ever will, till it happens.

I do not blame the Bible, because all the murders and executions were done by HUMANS. I believe that the Bible has much deeper meaning than the literal. Just like in Matthew 18: 8-9, the Bible says cut off your arm, and gouge out your eye if it is the cause of the sin. But any rational, grounded-in-faith person would read that and understand it in its metaphorical sense. God is not demanding us all to be self-maimers! Duh!

I wouldn't say that those verses you mentioned (in Exodus and Leviticus) are explicitly asking us to murder homosexuals and "witches" (is it still widespread?). Because, I'm sure you know this too, in the Ten Commandments, the ultimate ten rules God gave us, there, you can also say it is EXPLICITLY mentioned in #6 that "You shall not murder." The Bible is not contradicting itself. Instead, Commandment #6 should have helped people interpret the Exodus and Leviticus passages better and in the proper perspective. If God explicitly said we are not to murder, how can He be telling us to kill homosexuals and witches? God is the giver and taker of life, no one else on earth (or heaven) has that right.

I am also against discrimination against homosexuals. Yes, I know the Bible says homosexuality is wrong. But the Bible also says that we should "love our neighbour as ourselves." I am friends with my gay classmate, and lesbian ex-classmate. Also because of the words in the Bible. Why should the Bible be blamed for man's LGB discrimination?

It is the fault of sinful man that these horrible things happen. Not the Bible's. :(

k0k s3n w4i said...

Liz: I wonder, if I engage in this discussion with you, are you going to put your fingers in your ears and refuse to believe in anything I have to show you? Will it be worth my time? Do you have enough integrity to change your mind in the face of disconfirming evidence?

"I may not have the facts all down pat, but I believe that the Bible IS based on facts and irrefutable evidence."

Bold words. I've heard that claim so very often. I've been told many times by so many Christian that the Bible (talking snakes, burning bushes and all) are "facts and irrefutable evidence". Most just assert it without showing me what these wonderful "facts and irrefutable evidence" are, like yourself. Have you examined these fantastic extrabiblical facts and evidence yourself? Do you even know what they are?

If I do not care, I'd simply say that what you just made is a baseless assertion, but for you, I'll expend a bit of extra effort.

We'll examine two of the Bible's BIGGEST historical claims: Noah's Ark and the Exodus. I will use reputable sources from the relevant fields of study.

Here is an excellent treatment written by Davis A. Young, an evangelical Christian geologist from Calvin College, about the Flood. He wrote about the history of belief in the historicity of the worldwide Flood till finally, geological and biogeographical evidence became so overwhelming that today, no respectable geologists or biologists would lend credence to the occurrence of the event. References are included within it, and I chose this particular piece because it's written by someone who is a Christian and is most motivated to want Biblical stories to be true. You may argue that the Noach is clearly fantastic and was meant to be metaphorical, but then you'll have to concede that every miracle described in the Bible can also likewise be considered metaphorical.

As Judith Hayes said very pithily: "The biblical account of Noah's Ark and the Flood is perhaps the most implausible story for fundamentalists to defend. Where, for example, while loading his ark, did Noah find penguins and polar bears in Palestine?"

k0k s3n w4i said...

The Flood is almost too easy. Now, onwards to the Exodus from a historical and archaeological standpoint.

American archaeologist William G. Dever who specialises in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times wrote in his book, What Did the Biblical Writers Know, and When Did They Know It? that the archaeological evidence of the largely indigenous origins of Israel is "overwhelming," and leaves "no room for an Exodus from Egypt or a 40-year pilgrimage through the Sinai wilderness."

Carol L. Meyers, Director and Mary Grace Wilson Professor of Religion at Duke University wrote in her book Exodus (New Cambridge Bible Commentary) saying that a century of research by archaeologists and Egyptologists has found no evidence which can be directly related to the Exodus narrative of an Egyptian captivity and the escape and travels through the wilderness.

Israel Finkelstein (Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University) and Nadav Na'aman (Professor of Jewish History also of Tel Aviv University) wrote in From Nomadism to Monarchy: Archaeological and Historical Aspects of Early Israel saying that it has become increasingly clear that Iron Age Israel - the kingdoms of Judah and Israel - has its origins in Canaan, not Egypt. These are the words of Israeli scholars whose cultural identity depends on the books of the Old Testament.

Couple all of the above with the fact that there's no Egyptian record discovered to date which correspond with the Biblical account of Exodus. No mention anywhere of the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Hebrew slaves or events which could be correlated with the Biblical plague. Don't you think such a momentous happening would be recorded by such a scholarly civilisation?

I've only touched on the Old Testament so far.

k0k s3n w4i said...

Here's the difference between you and me, Liz. You tell me that the Bible is based on "facts and irrefutable evidence" but showed me nothing to back your claim. I, on the other hand, had spent hours digging up respectable references while taking particular care to choose sources from scholars who are believers themselves whenever I can. I only ask that you don't waste my hours of effort. Let me tell you now that the ONLY people who say the Bible based on "facts and irrefutable evidence" are preachers and Christians out to convince people that the Bible is true while, every respectable branch of scholarly studies in the 21st century says otherwise.

While some of the Biblical stories may reference real historical events, it doesn't mean that the incredible, miraculous happenings described in the same story is real. For example, one of my favourite fantasy novels is set in the Napoleonic wars, mentioning many personages and events in history, but it doesn't mean that the magicians in it and the magic they did are real. Let me challenge you in turn, find me any "facts and irrefutable evidence" showing that any miracle Jesus performed really did happen. There is none.

"the Bible is true and God-breathed (you may disagree, but that's a different issue here)"

The only source which said the Bible is God-breathed is the Bible itself. Please, admit that you have no "facts and irrefutable evidence" showing that that particular claim is true either. I am always amazed at how easily Christians can claim irrefutability of their beliefs while showing nothing for it. When I say or write anything in my blog, I frequently spend hours researching and making sure I get my facts straight. That is academic integrity. At least Camping showed how he derived his conclusion, as illogical those conclusions may be. Your conclusions are equally extraordinary. Do you understand now why I said Camping and mainstream Christians are no different in their methods, even though both arrived at different conclusions?

"I do not blame the Bible, because all the murders and executions were done by HUMANS. I believe that the Bible has much deeper meaning than the literal. Just like in Matthew 18: 8-9, the Bible says cut off your arm, and gouge out your eye if it is the cause of the sin. But any rational, grounded-in-faith person would read that and understand it in its metaphorical sense. God is not demanding us all to be self-maimers! Duh!

Yes, Liz. I agree with you 100%. The Bible uses metaphorical language. Any rational person would read the book and understand in its metaphorical sense that things like virgin births, men walking on water and dead people rising from their graves are magical impossibilities! Duh! Oh wait.

k0k s3n w4i said...

"Because, I'm sure you know this too, in the Ten Commandments, the ultimate ten rules God gave us, there, you can also say it is EXPLICITLY mentioned in #6 that "You shall not murder." The Bible is not contradicting itself."

Yes, I am aware of the Ten Commandments - I daresay my working knowledge of it is greater than most Christians. But you are either ignorant or lying when you claim that the Bible does not contradict itself. Just some chapters ahead of the commandment, God commanded the Levites (Exodus 32:27) to "slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour." 3000 people were murdered. Huge tracts in the Book of Joshua were basically Joshua committing genocides after genocides on God's order. In fact, God is so bloodthirsty that he gave Jephthah victory in battle in exchange for him burning his own daughter as an offering to Him (Judges 11:30-31, 11:34-40). These are murders ordered by God himself. So why sould it come as a surprise to you when he specifically ordered the deaths of homosexuals and witches?

Just like Harold Camping, you dismiss anything which contradicts what you believe about the Bible. Camping dismissed Matthew 24:36 which said no man can know when Jesus will return and in turn cited Amos 3:7 and 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 to rationalise that the faithful won't be taken by surprise. You dismiss all the bad, immoral and embarassing verses of the Bible but then cited other verses to rationalise your personal opinion about God and the book. Can you not see the parallel? This is what I was trying to say in this post. Mainstream Christians and Camping's congregation do exactly the same thing. All of you pick and choose what to follow.

Over the years, I have collated a rather fearsome collection of Bible quotes which directly contradict one another like the ones above - mainly because Christians like to say that the Bible is perfect and does not contradict itself. Do you want to learn about them and see them for yourselves? The authors of the four Gospels in the New Testament also disagrees on many details about Jesus's story too, and if I'm a police detective interviewing some witnesses, I'd disbelieve their story if their testimonies don't match up. The Biblical inconsistencies include even crucial details concerning the events surrounding Jesus' Resurrection. Try this fun Easter quiz - it illustrates my point. It's almost as if the Gospel writers never saw the events firsthand and are relying on hearsay to pen their "facts and irrefutable evidences".

k0k s3n w4i said...

"Why should the Bible be blamed for man's LGB discrimination?"

Because God outright said that homosexuals are abominations and should be killed.

The Abrahamic religions are by far the greatest cause of homophobia and LGB discrimination in the world today. And now that we're on the subject, God again contradicts himself by telling Christians to love their neighbours when quite explicitly commanding the prosecution of homosexuals. Maybe God is trying to say that you should only kill the homosexuals that don't live in your neighbourhood.

I have hopes at least that after so much verifiable, objective evidence I've paraded in your face, you would at least develop a bit of healthy doubt that and entertain the notion that maybe the Bible isn't as perfect a word of God as it claims itself to be. You have a preconceived notion of the Bible's perfection and are trying to rationalise the parts which contradicts that impression. Why not just consider the possibility that the human writers who wrote the book clearly weren't perfect and that they held antiquated beliefs no longer acceptable in a modern moral society? Why not presume that it's wicked and ignorant men who had misinterpreted God's intentions?

"It is the fault of sinful man that these horrible things happen. Not the Bible's. :( "

I agree partly. It's people. The Bible is just a book. That's why in my post I blame faith - I blame making a virtue out of believing without evidence. Unshakable faith that the Bible is the "inerrant", "factual" and "irrefutible" word of God. Atheists and humanists do not discriminate against homosexuals because they have no faith in a book that so horridly refers to people who were born LGB to be "abominations". Only Christians who have faith in the Bible and Muslims who have faith in the Qur'an perpetrate hate crimes on them. I am quite active in human rights activism, and every time issues of discrimination and violence towards homosexuals come up, it's almost always Christians and Muslims who have absolute faith in their books who caused them.

You claim to be friends with them, but yet you believe that they are "abominations". Liz, I am sure you are a good person. And I believe that even if Christianity and the Bible had not existed, you would still be a good person.

American Nobel Prize-winning Physicist Steven Weinberg very eloquently put it when he said: "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

faithinhumanity said...

Liz... lukey... PWNED! Just admit it and do something productive with your lives.

k0k s3n w4i said...

faithinhumanity: they aren't trying to convert anyone and are merely defending their faith on my provocation. i'm also sure that they are very productive members of society.

Anonymous said...

Halfway through this and thought you might like to read it.

And someone really should just gag this man from spouting more nonsense that terrifies people.

Anonymous said...

You will see the truth one day, don't worry.

k0k s3n w4i said...

lovealynna: ah, the cfi. i'm familiar with that organisation. why is it that so many people but the christians themselves who can see that it's unquestioning faith which brought men and women low?

Anonymous: and you will never see the truth because you are certain you have found it.

Liz said...

Oh wow. Few days off the Internet and it seems I've missed a lot !!! >.<

Dear k0k s3n w4i,

I really really DO appreciate all the hours of researching you must have done to put this response together. I do admire that about you--the fact that you have academic integrity, as you said :)

But I guess that, even after everything you have presented here, I still believe what I believe. And I know you're gonna crucify me for this (pun intended xD) but despite all the contradicting evidence, I still believe, and still WANT to believe--cos that's what "faith" is. (Like I said, you'd crucify me, but show mercy eh? :P)

However, I do want to tell you that after our first "debate" (do you rmb? :P), your words made an impact on me; enough to make me question a lot of things about my faith, to the extent that I didn't know if I wanted to call myself a Christian anymore. In self-reflection, I wonder if me growing up in a Christian family, growing up with Bible stories, going to church and church camps and Methodist Youth camps etc. actually put me at a disadvantage because I merely accepted everything they spoonfed me with. As a second generation Christian, I have taken my faith for granted. Very much. My discussion with you definitely opened my eyes to that fact. First generation Christians would be more convicted of their faith. Cos they made the personal and conscious choice to accept Christ. Let me share with you something I don't even tell my family. For me, it was sort of expected, accepting Christ and becoming a Christian, you know? Looking back, I wonder. I just wonder.

But. Despite all my serious doubts (which was due to YOUR words, which is a good thing in a way, cos it has made me realize that about myself) I also want to believe that since my first personal salvation prayer when I was ten, I am still His child and He won't ever let me go. (Humour me, ya? :D)

I'm currently attempting (on days when I have the courage) to work on my personal beliefs and faith. I can never fight Bible verses with you cos you will certainly win hands-down >.< But I am trying to ascertain what I believe now.

It is, though, thanks to you that I DO doubt, and am now taking my faith more seriously rather than for granted. So, I do thank you :)

For your effort in researching, and for being, well, relatively kind as you try to convince me :D

p.s: I am a good person ! Thank you for noticing !!! xD

k0k s3n w4i said...

Liz: yes, i will humour you. there is a strong emotional heart in the centre of that belief of a relationship between jesus and yourself. that feeling is very, very real - no one can deny that. in the atheist community, there are a lot of ex-christians who have described to me just how painful losing that can be.

when i write, my goal is never to get people to leave their religion but rather to provoke a healthy sense of doubt. if camping's followers had even a smidgen of doubt, they wouldn't have thrown their lives away in anticipation of a rapture that never comes.

you will always learn most from the detractors of your beliefs, than those who share them - because the believers can hardly be considered objective appraisers of those beliefs. that's why i've bought and read no pop atheist books (which would only reinforce my position) but chose instead to spend more time reading holy books and religious writing.

one more thing: have faith in goodness; call it god if you like. it's not the same as having faith in a book that's been compiled centuries after christ's death. how much embellishments do you think would have been added in the intervening years? consider also that it's a committee that decided which accounts or gospels should be included, based on their own biases. and what more, it had been translated so many times that it's naive to think that it had remained unchanged in all these ages. if there was divinity behind the bible's words and history, surely it had been long tarnished and buried under the failings of men. think about it.

i am not going to be so condescending as the anonymous christian commenter above who is so sure that he already knows the truth and that i will see things his way eventually. i won't say such things to you :)

Kathlynn said...

enlighten me. when you title your previous post as “the religion which cried wolf” which “religion” are you referring to? Christians?

afterall, it is “the boy who cried wolf”, not “the whole community of shepherds who cried wolf”.

IMHO, I don’t think it is fair to make such misleading, generalising statement of Christianity. “the man” yes. “the ‘christian’ man”, fine, I can accept, but “the religion”?

k0k s3n w4i said...

Kathlynn: enlighten me. are most christians illiterate? because so many kept asking me questions i've already answered within the post they object to. or do they automatically discount anything which contradicts their worldview offhand without first examining the offending claims?

anyhow, just because your royal highness demands to know, i'll humour you (and if you are actually illiterate then you have my sympathies). i said that the bible contains a set of apocalyptic prophecies that christians believe will happen - which i'm sure you can't dispute. yet after 2000 years of claiming that such events would definitely come to pass, it hasn't. jesus first cried wolf in matthew 24:33-34 saying that his prophetic visions are "near" and that the current generation at the time "shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled". his early disciples really believed that the end would arrive within their lifetimes! but it didn't and jesus was wrong. following in jesus's example, thousands of christians would go on to repeat jesus' mistake and claim that the end is near consistently throughout history; almost every year since the founding of christianity - but all of them were wrong as well (i even made a handy little infographic listing all the more prominent instances to illustrate my point). hence the title, "the religion which cried wolf".

camping is merely the latest christian to try his hand at doomsday propheteering, and he failed just like jesus and countless others who did. my argument is, how stupid does a person have to be to still believe after two thousand years of "any day now"? how many years more should christians give christianity the benefit of the doubt? another two thousand? a million years? at which point should we dismiss it as a pile of pre-scientific hokum? how long must we allow its bigotry, immoral teachings, and nonsensical cry of wolf to propagate into the future of humanity?