How many of the faithful have really read the bible. Catholics do not teach their followers anything about it. The only thing they learn is the Catechism and nothing more except what the leaders of the Church want them to know. Protestants learn from early ages in Sunday School and later on in bible classes if they so want. But even then they are guided by the pastors, ministers and elders of the church who are sometimes completely uninformed, themselves, about the more vile and irrational parts. In many instances if the learner does accidentally stumble upon these violent, cruel, ridiculous, fairytale type of stories and reality kicks in their brain they will possibly fade away from their religious beliefs. But that does not happen often because people stay believers even with these irrational facts hitting them squarely in the face.

How can someone with a normal thought process read about an invisible supernatural being creating the world in six days, a talking snake, a woman who turns into a pillar of salt, a man who lives inside a big fish and people who become alive after being dead? Why do people talk to this invisible entity and never hear a word back but still do it for their whole lives? Why do they, after so many times, ask this entity, who no one has ever seen or heard, for something important like saving the life of a loved one that eventually dies shortly thereafter without a pause in the progress of their demise. How does this happen to so many people?

What are your ideas about this? You at this site are the most wise in these matters, so can you join in? I am calling this THE FAITHFUL AND THE BIBLE I. In a few days I will put out THE FAITHFUL AND THE BIBLE II that will be my ideas on how and why this situation exists. Not that my ideas will be correct, but I will be interested in seeing your ideas and see if some of you have the same reasons for this phenomenon that I do.

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Quite frankly, Stephen, this all happens to so many people because they are raised that way! We are taught the impossible as a truth way before we can reason and learn things logicly. In fact, our parents want to do this because we will "have morals and charactor." Their Buybull said to raise children this way and they would "never depart" from those beliefs. Mom and Dad just knew they were doing the right thing. Everyone wants to go to a church like the one of their childhood. Father god takes over where the parents left off and he is the "parent" now. It will be this way til you die, and then it still goes on! You can sing praises to god in heaven for millions of years! (That would get old quickly.)

The irony here for a thinking person is that they have to realize that the choice of religion depends largely on which part of the world you were born in. Then you have to realize all the devision in religious groups, but perhaps the chrisitans are more devided than anyone.

For me personally, you can have your invisible friends but don't talk to me about  them. Don't ask me to meet them. Don't tell me everything would be OK if I talked to Jebus a little bit. Been there, done that, and he never answered one time. It was all a myth. All make believe!

Right on, Michael.  But why don't they stop talking to their invisible friends?

I'm not sure they are talking to their invisible friends. They say they are but unless repeating a known prayer or saying words everyone else is saying, they might just be bowing their heads and putting on a show. This is for in church, but we can never be sure what they do privately. In fact, Jebus said to pray privately but I'm not sure anyone is.

When Bush was in the white house you often heard "Laura and I will be praying for you." Did you believe that for one minute they really were? I never believed it. Don't believe it when Osteen says it either. "Praying for you" has become a term sort of like "have a nice day."

The worst cliche is the expression, "My heart goes out to you." But Bush's God talk was worse than that. He claims God wanted him to invade Iraq.

 

I always thought Bush's "god"  was named Dick.  Dubya was just a cheerleader for their twisted version of the truth; Cheney, Rummy, and Tubby Rove were the actual bosses.  An Unholy Trinity.

Stephen, I suspect that catholics are much like many other christians in that they far less often read the bible than They Have The Bible READ To Them.  Those doing the reading may be priests or pastors or leaders of bible study, but in all cases, those verses chosen will obviously be aimed at reinforcing the believer's faith rather than calling the credibility or morality of the bible itself into question.

It is worth keeping in mind as well that for many years, the bible was ONLY available in Latin, and for a time in England, it was illegal to own a bible in English.  The penalty then for owning such a thing was death.  To me, the reason is simple: having a bible in the vernacular makes it ACCESSIBLE.  It also eliminates the need for a priest to do the translation work and it removes him from the reading (and filtering) process.  This situation is intolerable for any church which desires to maintain its influence over its flock.  As has been so aptly observed:

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
-- Isaac Asimov

Stephen, The Bible serves several significant functions in the ruse of Christianity.

For fundamentalists it is of course the unerring word of God. It is literal truth.

The Bible is complex and requires a lifetime of dedicated study for the truths to be revealed.

Since it is difficult to internalize, it is best to trust the insight of recognized church leaders. They know how to locate the right passage and explain how it is relevant to your needs or those of spouses, children or society.

It really means little or nothing to believers in what you feel is absurd, illogical, weird, immoral or unscientific.

At the moment you enter into their construct you are destined to lose.
Because you don't get it or you can not accept the contents as irrefutable truth. The believer can only feel contempt, anger, disdain, or condescension for you.

So, why do we have to spend time refuting the Bible? The simple truth is that there no god, therefore it could not author anything.

Now I understand that many might feel that it is incumbent upon us atheists to help believers break the bonds of superstition and delusion. Think about your own awakening and I'll bet that for most of you it was an inside job.

The best thing we can do is to seek out and support our growing numbers. As well we must continue to confront religions insistence on spreading their beliefs on society as a given. They have no right whatsoever to force us into compliance with their illness.
@cChristian Soldier, wonderful. Trusting in church leaders insight will damn sure get the church more money.
I studied at a liberal arts college, Catholic, and came out an atheist.

I think all this religion is, very simply put, fear of death. Which is a fear of the unknown. Much the same as people who stay in abusive relationships.
@k.h. - yes, two of the levers are achieved by the fear of eternal hell or the bliss of heaven. Oh yes musn't forget the holding bin of limbo. Such BS; how any rationale adult could seriously consider this crap as possible is mind boggling.

I agree fully, Soldier. How could they seriously even consider that crap? Strange thing here is that even when I was still a fundie the idea of hell seemed way too far out. As for heaven, I liked the idea but still couldn't quite grasp it. What would we be doing? Throw in the fact that you might be in heaven with some clod who had castrated himself 2000 years ago for fear of possibly doing some harm, and you can see that everyone would have to be educated all over again. It isn't a matter of dying and instantly knowing all things.

The apologetic theist comes in then to say "that's alright coz we have eternity to do it." OK. For a timeframe let's start with the beginning and come up to that time then. It's like an eternity already and nobody knows anything. This is not a "win/win" situation!

They obviously created purgatory as a means of keeping priests employed even as the cardinals took a romp on tithes. Christopher Hitchens wrote a great essay on the practice of buying your way out of Purgatory. This was so rampant in Mexico by the 1930s that President Plutarco Calles, a freemason, tried to rid the nation of priests, but he failed. Selling indulgences took money from the gullible poor on the notion that if you just pay for special prayers, the Church would see to it that God skipped Purgatory and took your loved one straight to Heaven. Yeah, sure. Calles probably wanted that indulgence money for the treasury.

James and Michael, James yours is among the almost boundless supply of examples in which a logical examination of deeply held Christian belief borders on absurdity.

Martin (you are among my favorite atheists)you cite another precept vital to religion, conning followers out of money.

In reflecting on this I realize that religion is a wonderful way for any sociopath to make a living. steal Lots of tax free money and have your victims love you for exploiting them.

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