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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The way out of the Bibleverse to a reality with a higher morality, 10 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails (Paperback)
I highly recommend reading this book. The best sermons you will ever hear.If you are motivated by a search for truth and sanity this is for you. This book is a gateway to the wider debate about religious beliefs. It is a meeting with 9+ of the top skeptical Bible scholars. Trying to piece together all the opposing ideas in the Bible is like trying to build a house of cards upside down. The Bible is a book at war with its self. p150 quotes Biblical Scholar Randel Helms, who in his book 'The Bible against itself', argues that "The Bible is a war zone, and its authors are the combatants".
I especially liked the chapters: 5. The Cosmology of the Bible, 6 The Bible and Modern Scholarship, 7. What we have here is a failure to communicate, 8. Yahweh is a Moral Monster, 14 Atheism was not the cause of the Holocaust.
Hector Avalos spots on p 225 that Genesis 20v17&18 claims that God was able to make a woman infertile, and points out that in that case God could have caused all Canaanites to be infertile thus avoiding any need for war / genocide. So why didn't God just make all unbelievers infertile 2000 years ago and let the chosen ones populate the earth, thus saving anymore going to hell? Probably because it is all fantasy. Note also that Genesis 21v 17-21 says God saved Hagar and Ishmael, who allegedly was the father of Islamic nations. God has deliberately caused 23% of the world hostile to accepting 'Jesus as Lord'.
The trick to being a Christian is to believe just enough to see yourself as eligible for heaven but not so much as to have any impact on your life. You need to focus on the parts of the Bible which concur with socially acceptable values of love, tolerance, compassion,not hurting anyone and being U.K.law abiding. Part of this requires the acknowledgement that many ideas in the Bible are just plain wrong/unacceptable. This book shows that there is ample intelligent, rational, honest reason to think the Scriptures views about God, heaven and hell are not correct.Why would you think that the priests of 700 BCE to 200 CE who wrote the Bible would know anything about unseen things like hell when they didn't have a clue about this physical world? This book helps to show the context of how the Bible writings came into existence. It is written by people who have read enough of the history of religion and Bible analysis to realise that as Loftus says p190, 'The God of Jeremiah is nothing more than the reflections and musings of an ancient, superstitious, barbaric people', p202 'There is not a single statement in the Bible that reveals a divine mind behind the human authors'.
These authors who are experts in higher Biblical criticism show how the Bible fits well into the theory that religions emerge/evolve out of previous religions/superstitions.
See also John Loftus website [...]
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Jan 2011 15:03:53 GMT
F. Levi says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2011 10:43:07 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Feb 2011 11:01:02 GMT
A. Hawkins says:
Christians love to say that there is no such thing as an ex-Christian. But, scripture clearly proves this to be erroneous, see 2 Peter 2: 20-22.

Loftus started to question Christianity because of emotional reasons. He quite clearly explains this. He did not leave it for emotional reasons but entirely because of intellectual reasons.

I've watched their debate with keen interest and I have to admit that Loftus's debate style - or, lack of it - let him down. I'm a big fan of Loftus and it hurts me to admit this. But, the real debates happen in their books. Loftus in that very debate says the same. He invites you to read both their books. You've already read D'souza, now it's up to you to get the other side of the story. Don't start with the Christian Delusion start with its far better older cousin: Why I became an atheist.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jul 2011 23:25:10 BDT
Johnny P says:
F. Levi

Your No True Scotsman fallacy is a little childish, and your comment is pretty poor in general. If you have such an emotionally charged ad hominem as that, then at least back it up with some substantive points. This book is excellent, and I concur with Hawkins that WIBA is a great book. Why would you bother going on a review to give an immature ad hominem unless you were scared that your faith is being rationally undermined? Such ineffectual commenting underscores the paper thin rationalisations that prop up your beliefs.

Posted on 12 Jun 2014 11:44:45 BDT
noj says:
"The trick to being a Christian is to believe just enough to see yourself as eligible for heaven but not so much as to have any impact on your life. "

Really perceptive point. I'll use it myself if I may!

For most believers, their religion fills their god-shaped hole to give their life meaning, but doesn't alter what their behaviour would be without religion.
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