What the Bible says about Debunking and Skepticism

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I was raised Catholic in England. I decided at around age 15 that there was not actually any good reason for believing in God, so I stopped.

But I've always been interested in the influence the Bible has on the lives of people. It's really a mish-mash of mixed messages, often quite horrific messages in the Old Testament. But many people claim to use it as the foundation of their philosophical and moral world view. Yet I feel that the most effective argument against Christianity for many people comes from a full reading of the Bible from beginning to end, so you can really get a sense for what's going on in there. The stories on exchristian.com have several examples of this.

What I was wondering, is what the Bible's advice or opinions on Skepticism and Debunking might be. So I had a trawl. I'd noticed in 2 Peter 3:3 that the word "scoffer" or "mocker" (Greek ἐμπαῖκται, empaiktai = mocker or deceiver), was used for one who demands evidence of the second coming. The bible writer here seems to be warning against those who would doubt what it says. Jude also repeats this.

It's interesting then to see all the instances of this word, and what the Bible is saying. In many instances it reminds me of debates between believers and skeptics - and more often of discussions that believers have amongst themselves.

The most famous skeptic in the bible is Doubting Thomas, who gets very little support for his skepticism.
This is the key to the approach of the Bible. Doubt is seen as sinful. Asking for evidence is being weak minded. You are most blessed if you believe without evidence. The bible writers know that there is no real evidence to support their claims, so they try to turn this into a benefit, saying it's better to have no evidence. This quite cleverly dissuades people from seeking evidence, as clearly they will become less blessed if they find evidence. The less evidence they have, the more blessed they will be. The less grounded their belief is in reality, the better. It's anti-skeptical.

The resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, and an obvious target for skeptics, who would naturally, even at that time, demand a little more evidence than the say-so of his disciples. Matthew makes quite an effort to get the story straight. First of all the local priests anticipate the disciples would attempt to steal the body, so they ask for the tomb to be sealed and guarded.

Then there's an earthquake, and angel arrives and removes the stone, the guards are made unconscious, and the angel tells the two Marys to get get the disciples, which they do. The disciples arrive and find the empty tomb, then meet Jesus. The guards then go back to the priests and tell them what happened:

That right there is the root of all conspiracy theories. Don't believe the official story, says the Bible, it's all a plot. Those guys who say that Jesus' body was stolen by his disciples, well they were bribed to say that. How do we know they were bribed? It's in the Bible! When I first read this account in Matthew I almost laughed, as it seemed so transparent that the author was trying to spin a tale. The theft of the body by the disciples seems by far the most obvious and simplest explanation for what happened, and that indeed must have been the prevailing story at the time. Yet Matthew goes to great lengths to discredit the official story, and to create his own highly implausible narrative with implausible earthquakes, mysterious angels, and lying officials. He's like the equivalent of a 9/11 truther.

The Bible does not always look kindly upon seeking wisdom

But when the wisdom fits the Bible narrative, then the the Bible start to sound a little bit like a conspiracy theorist saying "open your eye, don't be a sheeple", with a touch of "wait until 2012/the great cull/the rapture, you'll see!"

So I feel it can quite safely be argued that the Bible is very anti-skeptic. "Knowledge" and "Wisdom" consist largely of knowledge of God's will, and not knowledge of the world. The foundational story of the bible is that of Adam and Eve, who are cast out of paradise for the very skeptical act of seeking knowledge - a type of knowledge that the bible warns against.

But it's not all bad:
Proverbs 9:8 is interesting:
With similar, also in Proverbs:
Now here "mocker" is translated (in NIV) from the Hebrew "lêṣ" (לֵ֗ץ), which in many versions is translated "scorner". Again there is similar circular logic - a "mocker" is anyone who questions the existence of God, while the "wise", or "discerning" are interpreted as "the man who realizes that the fear of God is a necessary condition to the acquiring of wisdom, and who seeks it as a boon at his hands."

It's interesting to compare the 2000-yeat-old language in the Bible with the modern usages of the words "shill" and "troll" (and perhaps to a lesser extent "hater").
 
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U

Unregistered

Guest
Hi Mick!

I appreciate your work over at the chemtrail debunking site. Thank you!

A quick comment on this article: Many people saw Jesus after He rose from the dead, testifying openly of Him and essentially laying their lives on the line by doing so. Some were martyred. And you are now telling us that they were all lying about the resurrection, and concocted a story about how those who crucified the Lord tried to cover up what latter happened at His tomb? In this case, you are the one going against the evidence, common sense, human nature, and the truth. And you have no proof whatsoever for your theory.

Not only does the historical record support the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but multitudes have seen and heard Him from since. I have, and my background didn't lend itself to that. I'm Jewish; believe me, I wasn't expecting to hear from Jesus Christ as Lord and God!

Read our testimonies and other writings/correspondences at www.ThePathofTruth.com. You may find the following article about conspiracies, according to God and His Record, particularly appropriate:

http://thepathoftruth.com/teachings/conspiracies.htm

Paul Cohen
Helena, MT
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
You have to look at it from a neutral perspective.

On the one hand you have some religious zealots making up a story, several decades after the actual events.

On the other, you have the creator of the universe, incarnate in human flesh, died and risen from the dead.

So, the question is, which of those two things seems more likely?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I read the article about conspiracy. It seemed to say don't worry, because even conspiracies are Gods work. Unfortunately, being an atheist, this was not particularly something I could relate to.
 
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Bunkerbuster

(AKA iondetox)
I was raised Christian and really never bought into all the power and mind control stuff. But I do like the “hidden,” message that we are all in control of an energy source. I’ve spent two years in a theological prophesy class and really the Bible has it correct in many ways. But many others do to at the same time like the American Indians predicted the “Fourth Leg of the Great White Buffalo.” It was born in Nebraska around the time of 9/11 for the first time in their history. That prophesy mirror's the Bible pretty much.

I’ve often wondered if that being around conquering occupiers and witnessing their tyrannical lust for power and greed if it does not make it much easier to accurately predict what they will do in the future.

Just to throw another hypothesis out there. I think the book of revelation can be taken on a world wide scale, a national scale, or a personal scale. For instance when any of the most recent acts of genocide happened if you were witnessing that, would it not be like what the book of revelations talks about, or the Forth Leg of the Great White Buffalo? I would think so.

I’m not pressing the Bible, but that’s all I know. I’ve not looked at much other prophesy from others.

Crap.. now I’m going to be debunked.. Cause I’m in the middle of them.. LOL Do yall talk about this stuff? Or is this place just for like contesting what others say? I hope I’m not out of line. I’m not trying to be. 8)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Debunking is not about contesting what other people say. It's about determining what is bunk and what is not bunk.

Here you're saying that the Sioux White Buffalo Woman myth is related to the Book of Revelations. I really don't see what evidence you are offering to support that though.

I also don't see why current events are more like the Book of Revelation than say the First World War, or even events like the Black Death when one third of the population of Europe was killed in a few years.

I think you need to take a broader view of events in a historical context. Remember "end-times" have been popular for the last 2,000 years. There's always someone who thinks they are living in the end times. The current times are not at all exceptional.

See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eschatology
 

Bunkerbuster

(AKA iondetox)
In a way that was what I was saying. Maybe I was not clear.. but you said it like I meant it 8)

Maybe I'm a little wordy.. my message get lost
 

Uncommon Sense

New Member
Mick,there are a lot of things I would like to say here about religious misconceptions/contradictory arguments and positions, a number of which would dispute much of what Bunkerbuster said, but as I recently joined this blog, I am beginning to discover this may not be a forum that would support such discussion. I have a few questions of clarity:

1. I like your definition on the main page regarding bunk and the correlati onto science/logic, but above you implied debunking is not contesting what people say, which maybe in a semantic sense this may be the case, there certainly is an implied intention to prove that the position taken by a group (often a large group) is wrong. It seems you are rather attempting to avoid the issue because it is so incendiary and therefore many are unable to discuss without becoming personally offended (which I do not fault you for as I have often lost friends/relatives over attempting to engage religious debate using logic), but I think the longer we are unwilling to engage this issue in the same manner we would any other CT (I suggest that every religion is in some way a CT). Anyone willing to examine things they find ridiculous, like the Sandy Hook CT, or chemtrails (which I suggest have as much logical evidence of proof as any religion).My question is, what is the purpose of this forum, in the sense of to whate xtent will/can large topics like religion, philosophy and government be examined by the same objective standards as the other topics are examined?

2. If the answer to my question is no, are you aware of any forum which has a decent community of people looking to engage the noted topics in a respectful,objective forum?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don't frequent many other forums, so I can't really offer recommendations.

I don't think religion is a great topic for debunking, unless you are going to get into some specific nitty-gritty, like "Debunked: the Bible forbids dancing". But a topic like "Debunked: God Exists", is a little broad - considering you're not going to write anything that's not been said at least 200 years ago.

You are welcome to try though.
 

Trutherator

New Member
http://trutherator.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/presenting-a-major-debunk-of-the-mother-of-all-conspiracy-theories/

Allow me to debunk the mother of all “conspiracy theories” that says the disciples master-minded a hoax for the centuries to beat all hoaxes of all time.
One thing is that often “skeptics” make the same mistake that believing Christians often make. Many of them don’t bother with evidence, despite that fact that the very New Testament tells them to learn the evidence.
Simon Greanleaf, once known as the father of the rules of evidence, was the Dean of the Harvard Law School, one day declared he didn’t believe in the silly Resurrection story. A student challenged him to apply his own rule of checking the evidence before declaring confidence in something. He did and the result was “The Testimony of the Evangelists“, the subtitle declaring his newfound faith.
In Acts Paul shared the evidence in every testimony of his faith to rulers and kings, and eventually the Emperor. The New Testament has him debunking the accusation of fable, pointing out the fact of 500 witnesses. The gospels are a record of Thomas’ own testimony as to the evidence, and more blessed are those who must check the evidence of historical fact and logic, not just a thrust through the side.
Roman guards that fell asleep on the job or would allow the disciples to steal the body would be executed on the spot. How can the disciples steal the body right under their nose? Those Roman soldiers went to the priests instead of their commander for that very reason, and that’s why the priests took on the task of dealing with their commanders. That’s evidence that the HIGH PRIESTS KNEW he had risen from the dead too. Their cover story went into the Talmud, by the way, Jesus’ enemies confirm his miracles in the Talmud, claiming they were witchcraft of Beelzebub, like the Bible says.
The description of Jesus’ medical symptoms after the beatings, the sword thrust in the side, the blood and water, etc, confirmed by medical doctors today as accurately describing what the reaction would be to what he went through, including the death while still on the cross.a
The first witnesses to the resurrection were women, something culturally counter-intuitive at the time. Any hoax or made-up fable, even one that “evolved”, would have had men being the first ones to bear the news, not women.
THE REFERENCES TO SKEPTICS AND MOCKERS in the last days refers to those who REFUSE TO BELIEVE THE EVIDENCE.
God says this:
“Prove me now herewith”
“Concerning the works of my hands, command thou me”.
He commands believers to “have an answer” for those who question our faith. That means we must learn the facts that validate the faith.
The faith of Hebrews 11 describes a “fact-based” faith. We have learned so much to count on God’s Word to be true, that it surpasses everything else. So much evidence piles up. A spontaneous universe with dozens of precisely calibrated universal constants, and that cultivates spontaneous bio-generation of life, with its enormously programmed digital coded language and interpretation machinery, and saying nobody designed it, now THAT is truly BLIND faith.
THE END-TIMES HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN LIKE ITS SKEPTICS SAY.
Isaac Newton said it’s not for that time. Paul wrote 2Thessalonians 2 to DEBUNK the any-minute hysteria. For THEN. He said wait, the Antichrist comes first. (Contrary to the mythical Left Behind series fiction)
For two thousand years, Bible scholars said it “the End” would not happen until israel was reestablished as a nation. That’s only one reason so many evangelicals get their theology all screwed up and think God wants them to support the political and secular nation of Israel so much. Christian Zionists are as confused as some of the Jews.
www.trutherator.wordpress.com
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Mick, you wrote above:
On the other, you have the creator of the universe, incarnate in human flesh, died and risen from the dead.
The idea that Jesus is God only came in around the time of Constantine. The original belief is that Jesus was a human - NOT a part of what the mainstream Christians call 'The Holy Trinity'.

There is one God, not three persons in one. Jesus wasn't and isn't God incarnate at all.

There is the 'person', God, and there is the immortalised human, Jesus, another separate person. The holy spirit is just a term for God's power. It isn't a person any more than electricity is a person.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
I agree with what 'Unregistered' wrote above.I have to. It is me. I guess I need to officially register, as your other articles DO look good :) .

Here's some things to think about with regards to the trinity.

Christ needed saving, God does not.

God exalted Christ, which if he were God, he would not need.

Christ did not claim equality with God, which would point to his acknowledgement as a separate being, would it not?

Who was Christ speaking to on the cross?

God can't die, but Christ did.

Patterns teach me that immortal beings can't die, at least that's what I have trusted, therefore, either Christ didn't really die, and there was no sacrifice on his part, or he truly died, and therefore could not be God.

God can't be tempted, but we know that Christ was tempted.

The Scriptures say that God is not a man, but many times they point out that Christ is one.

And another one...God can't be seen, but Christ was.

I mean God as Christ could do any of that, of course, but I have found that God is the master of plans

and patterns and order, and so if he was also Christ, then there has to be something I am missing to make that logical.

Ask yourself: "Was one part of a trinitarian God sacrificed to another part of a trinitarian God?"

To a trinitarian, passages like Mark 15:34 would read like, "...Myself, myself, why have you forsaken myself?
 

duo2000x

New Member
You know what I'd love to see on this site? Can you debunk the "21 ounces lost at death" as your soul leaving the body? I'd love to see what you find on it.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
duo2000x;34418 said:
You know what I'd love to see on this site? Can you debunk the "21 ounces lost at death" as your soul leaving the body? I'd love to see what you find on it.
What have you found on it?
 

Cairenn

Senior Member
http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2007/03/does-soul-weigh-21-grams.html

 

Joe

Senior Member
Debunking is not about contesting what other people say. It's about determining what is bunk and what is not bunk.

Here you're saying that the Sioux White Buffalo Woman myth is related to the Book of Revelations. I really don't see what evidence you are offering to support that though.

I also don't see why current events are more like the Book of Revelation than say the First World War, or even events like the Black Death when one third of the population of Europe was killed in a few years.

I think you need to take a broader view of events in a historical context. Remember "end-times" have been popular for the last 2,000 years. There's always someone who thinks they are living in the end times. The current times are not at all exceptional.

See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eschatology
At what time in those 2000 years did we have the power to destroy ourselves as is the case today ?
 

MikeC

Closed Account
Hi Mick!


Not only does the historical record support the resurrection of Jesus Christ,...
Apart from the Bible there is only marginal historical reference to Jesus existing, let alone being resurrected.

Tacitus, mentions christians in his Histories as being Nero's scapegoat for the great fire in Rome - but Tacitus was born 25 years after Jesus supposed death and writing 40 years after the fire. Josephus mentions Jesus and also James brother of Jesus.....bu Jesus was a common name and at least part of his script was altered by Christians a couple of hundred years later.

Sorry about that.
 

Joe

Senior Member
Apart from the Bible there is only marginal historical reference to Jesus existing, let alone being resurrected.

Tacitus, mentions christians in his Histories as being Nero's scapegoat for the great fire in Rome - but Tacitus was born 25 years after Jesus supposed death and writing 40 years after the fire. Josephus mentions Jesus and also James brother of Jesus.....bu Jesus was a common name and at least part of his script was altered by Christians a couple of hundred years later.

Sorry about that.
Funny how this would make it to the top of the forum on Easter ? Atheist:mad:
 

solrey

Senior Member
Funny how this would make it to the top of the forum on Easter ? Atheist:mad:
Ahhh yes, Easter... originally a pagan holiday in celebration of the vernal equinox symbolizing fertility and renewal which was co-opted by christians.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/easter.htm

The one trait that seems to apply to most christians is hypocrisy, which was on full display while my grandmother was on her death-bed last week and that includes her own pastor. The only people that respected her desire for peace and quiet during her final days were the two or three atheists among us. Christians can go suck an egg. :mad:
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
Funny how this would make it to the top of the forum on Easter ? Atheist
Yeah. Atheist.

Once we all realize that "god" is a ludicrous fantasy that's designed to provide a career opportunity for the family dunce, then the Human species will be much, much better off.



THAT ( ^^^ ) wraps it up nicely.
 

Joe

Senior Member
Ahhh yes, Easter... originally a pagan holiday in celebration of the vernal equinox symbolizing fertility and renewal which was co-opted by christians.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/easter.htm

The one trait that seems to apply to most christians is hypocrisy, which was on full display while my grandmother was on her death-bed last week and that includes her own pastor. The only people that respected her desire for peace and quiet during her final days were the two or three atheists among us. Christians can go suck an egg. :mad:
Actually its called resurrection day not easter . So Happy Resurrection Day .
 

NoParty

Senior Member
Apart from the Bible there is only marginal historical reference to Jesus existing, let alone being resurrected.

Tacitus, mentions christians in his Histories as being Nero's scapegoat for the great fire in Rome - but Tacitus was born 25 years after Jesus supposed death and writing 40 years after the fire. Josephus mentions Jesus and also James brother of Jesus.....bu Jesus was a common name and at least part of his script was altered by Christians a couple of hundred years later.

Sorry about that.
Behold! This thread is risen! Either because it's Easter Sunday...or...uh...420...uh, Mike?

images.jpeg
 

Joe

Senior Member
Except, this is not factual.



(You can view the other parts by following the YT links).
Thats Ok I wouldnt waste my time watching that crap . Only upon your death will you really know the truth , So get back to me since your much older then I and let me know whats on the other side . :)
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
Only upon your death will you really know the truth , So get back to me...
Harry Houdini was a very intelligent man. He specifically suggested to his wife that IF there was such a thing as an "afterlife", that he would endeavor to find a way to tell her about it.
http://paranormal.about.com/od/Halloween/a/Houdini-Seance.htm

He failed (obviously), because dead is dead.

I wouldnt [sic] waste my time watching that crap .
Your loss.
 

Joe

Senior Member
Harry Houdini was a very intelligent man. He specifically suggested to his wife that IF there was such a thing as an "afterlife", that he would endeavor to find a way to tell her about it.
http://paranormal.about.com/od/Halloween/a/Houdini-Seance.htm

He failed (obviously), because dead is dead.



Your loss.
I doubt it
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member
You don't have to believe in Jesus to be religious - orthodox jews certainly don't.
The point being, other religions exist.
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member

Joe

Senior Member
Why does it matter who is or isn't atheist or christian or whatever... unless you're trying to play the "holier than thou" card.



Yup, they stole 420... nothing sacred is left untouched.
No im not . From what I see there is a lot of people here that mock religion as with many of the comments . After 45 years I just started going back to church . Not because Im some holy roller only to discover more about the christian religion . I was 7 when I stopped going to the catholic church and I am not a fan of big religion . I think its a scam . But the small church I go to now isn't connected to any others and they do a lot of good in the community . People like freedom from religion and other radical atheist groups turn me off . So Im exploring the other option . If I die tommorow and there is nothing on the other side I wont know . I still have my doubts about religion or god but to say its a fairy tale is something we may never know . I just find the Christians themselves to be good people with more moral values . Not saying if your not a christian you have no moral values either .
 
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