Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?


If the Bible is really the word of God, who knows all and sees all and who has all power, you would expect it to be different from any other book. It would have the marks of divine influence on it. You would expect it to report history accurately and to perhaps reveal things that were not discovered until centuries had past.
The Bible is an evil book just because it opposes science. Science means checking things out and researching to make sure that we do know what we believe we know. But the Bible demands that the Bible be believed and we are expected to continue believing even when science and archaeology conflict with the Bible. This is unjust and offensive to those good decent scientists who are trying to enlighten the world. The Bible has kept Europe and the world back from progress. It was only as unbelief and scepticism towards the Bible increased that we were able to make the discoveries that have benefited us so much today. To say God comes first is to say his word comes before all other words. Christian faith comes first so that faith is the enemy of science and freethought and reason. It only uses these things to suit itself but it will not let them speak for themselves so it is only pretending to be a friend. If faith comes first then it will ignore or twist or deliberately forget anything that tells it that it is wrong. Many promoters of Bible based religion are enemies of the human race no matter how much good they do.
The book of Genesis offends more against science than any other book. The Church responds that it is not a textbook on science. In other words, it is about teaching faith and morals not science. That is nonsense - the book does not concentrate on God much. It poses as history and though no historian is a scientist you do not expect a historian to ignore science. The opposite in fact!
A Bible that teaches science would read, "At the beginning, countless centuries ago, there was an explosion. God caused the explosion. Then he organised the debris...God created life and many creatures walked the earth. God made manhood and womanhood in his image." It is not difficult. Randal Rauser argues that a scientific Bible would not make sense to people living centuries ago. That is only an excuse. Any science can be made understandable. Rauser seems to think there is no science unless there is technical language! What we have is rubbish in the Bible that looks like guesswork and fairy stories. What you read about facts and the universe in the Bible is indistinguishable from the kind of nonsense you would expect if no divine revelation had taken place at all. The Christian arguments about God revealing the Bible to us are really just excuses for the fact that the book is man-made. It is a cover-up.
The Bible does not seem to understand anything like Newtonian Science. Christians will object that Newtonian Science has been refuted by Einstein. It has not. It is still valid. Einstein merely added something to it. He helped us learn about a fourth dimension that does not contradict Newtonian Science but describes what happens in an Einsteinian framework. There is no conflict for Newtonian science is not about this fourth dimension.
If you are told the same lie often enough, you will end up believing it or feeling that you do. If you are told a lie often enough you may see it as an opinion not a lie even if you don't agree with it. This process is the reason why religion lies so shamelessly. It knows it has an audience that can be manipulated. The excuse for the Bible being useless and wrong in terms of science is one such lie.

Fundamentalist Christians have an insatiable appetite for books which claim that the authors of the Bible had knowledge of scientific facts which were not discovered until centuries later. This is considered to be proof that God wrote the Bible. How could it be proof for that when there could have been contact made with aliens? One wonders that if the Bible really revealed scientific information before it was discovered then what did the knowledge need to be rediscovered for?
The Fundamentalists cherry-pick science and then try to read their selections into the Bible.
Science does not accept the Bible account that in order to imply a separation between human kind and animals, man and woman are said to be made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Evolution denies such a separation. And Genesis does not say it means a soul or anything like that so there is no loophole there. It is not talking about spiritual stuff. Romans 5:12 takes the story of Adam literally and indicates that if it is false then Jesus did not save us and came for nothing.
God never said a word in the Bible about washing carefully to avoid spreading disease. He never mentioned the importance of boiling water in case it was polluted or infectious. Jesus went as far as to condemn the tradition of the Pharisees which required that you must wash up to the elbows before handling your food. His problem was that it was a man-made tradition and he banned it. Man-made or not it was a good tradition. Read Mark 7:1-23.


What about the round earth?   It supposedly appears in Job - a book which does not claim that any of the speakers in it were inspired.  Even if the text were right it does not claim that the speaker got the information from God!  It is an inspired record of what they said but that does not make the speakers inspired!


Here is a quote from Christian JP Holding who is honest for once: "All that said, it is not even clear that chuwg refers exclusively to the shape we call a circle. The word indicates boundaries being set, but nothing contextually demands a perfect circular shape. In Job 22:14, it refers to a "circuit" or route walked by God, and there's no particular reason why this should or should not be a circle. Altogether, the word is used only 3 times in the OT, and not once does the context clearly demand a shape of any particular regularity; and a root word in Job 26:10 describes the encompassment of "waters", and without further description. There's no basis for connecting the word to a modern "compass", and although LXX translators may have chosen the word for a simple circle, it is irrelevant that they did so, since their choice was governed by their own cosmological views.
Luke 23:45 states that the sun gave no light when Jesus died. The original says that this was a total eclipse of the sun. But this was Passover time. And it was impossible for that eclipse to happen for the Passover was held at the full moon (page 186, Catholicism and Christianity).
In Job 26:7, Job cries that the earth hangs upon nothing. Fundamentalists see this as miraculous knowledge that the earth just floats in space. But Job knew that when God could make the earth in such a way that it didn’t need to hang on a string or rest on an infinite mountain that it was most likely that he did this. Job would have agreed that the earth hanged upon God so to speak for God made all things. Besides, the earth could rest on a mountain that has no bottom and still be said to hang on nothing. Job would have believed the angels could float around without support so why be impressed if he thought the same about the earth?
Job 25:5 allegedly says that the moon has no light of its own. The moon gets its glow from the sun. But the verse does not actually state that it means this. “Even the moon has no brightness [compared to God’s glory] and the stars are not pure in his sight – How much less man, who is a maggot! And a son of man, who is a worm!” The Amplified Bible rejects the other interpretation as the note in the brackets show. The verse is about things not being as beautiful or as glorious or bright as God not about what has light and what has not. The stars are not pure or pleasing in God’s sight like the moon. The fundamentalists are twisting the verse.
Job 26:7 is said to say that there are no stars in the north as science now knows. This is supposed to be a marvel as there were no telescopes. But read the verse, “He it is Who spreads out the northern skies over emptiness”. This does not say that there are no stars in it does it? Genesis says that God spread the sky over emptiness, or indicates that the space between earth and sky is empty.
The Bible is said to reveal the scientific fact that there are currents or rivers in the sea (Psalm 8:8). But everybody near a shore knows that water is cold in some places and warm in others in the same sea. The seas are big rivers so the Psalm might not be about currents at all. Rivers are water and their water is in the sea for they are all linked and are one so maybe that is the key to the meaning of the text.
Hebrews 11:3 tells us that all that we see is made of invisible things. Fundamentalists call this an extremely accurate description of the atom. But all things can be ground into invisible dust which was here the idea of things being made from things too small to see came from. It means dust not atoms.
In Hebrews 1:2; 11:3; it is said that God made worlds. So according to it God made at least two worlds. This is often assumed by Fundamentalists to declare that God made lots of planets in an age in which this was not known. But Hebrews says that the spirit realm, the dwelling of the good angels and that of the bad angels the demons as distinct from the world of matter, is a world so that is the end of that.
The discovery that air has weight is supposed to be a recent one and fundamentalists think they read in Job 28:25 something that only God could have revealed so long ago. “He gave the wind weight or pressure and allotted the waters by measure”. The Amplified Bible says that the word weight in the verse may mean pressure. It is impossible for anybody who thinks to believe that air is weightless when it feels like particles too fine to be discerned by the naked eye in a strong breeze. Anybody that surmised that air was weightless was just being thoughtless or drawing attention to the fact that when air is mild it seems weightless. By air having weight the Bible might mean the weight the wind lays on you when it pushes down on you. There would be nothing marvellous about knowing that it does that!
Everybody knew that air has pressure. When air becomes a gale it puts strong pressure on the earth. Weight and pressure are much the same thing in that context so there is no reason to think that Job means anything other than that the wind is strong at times.
Lord Kelvin was the man who discovered that rainfall will not happen unless there is an electric discharge. The Bible is said to teach this centuries before he discovered it at Psalm 135:7 and Job 38:25,26. But when lightning and rain coincide, it is only natural for people to assume that the former causes the rain at least sometimes. Notice that the verses do not say that electricity causes all rain but is only interested in lightning that brings rain. There is no miracle here but only educated guesswork. And above all they never say that all rain is caused by lightning or electricity.
The Bible asserts that God made man from dust. And science shows us that the ground and the body all share the same elements. But the Bible does not actually say that the two have the same elements for the clay was transmuted and could have been changed in its element composition. That does not stop fundamentalists from bragging that God revealed the scientific truth before science did.
It is interesting that the Fundamentalists depend so much on the Book of Job which never pretends to give divine revelation but which believers say is what God recorded about what a number of men were saying without necessarily agreeing with what they said. If the book had supernatural knowledge what business have we saying it came from God when even God never said it was?
The Bible speaks of fire coming down from Heaven and Jesus going up to Heaven at his ascension. Clearly Heaven is thought to be up in the clouds. But it is not. Heaven means the sky. Nowadays the Church obscures that meaning for we know there is no Heaven in the clouds. The Church refuses to take such language literally. Yet the Bible never gives a hint of anything different. It is just the Church rationalising away Bible errors.


Bible-believers are confident that God told the ancient Hebrews things about germs and infection that were only rediscovered centuries later. If they are right then that would indicate that they knew things that nobody could have found out unless they were told by some supernatural being or alien.
The Law of Moses, the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy were supposed to have been revealed by God and have absolute infallibility.
Is the fundamentalist notion that Deuteronomy 14:21, which forbids the Hebrews to eat an animal that died naturally, proves that they knew about bacteria long before they were discovered, credible? How can it be when the verse doesn’t say why it must not be eaten except that it is ritually unclean?
The Bible says that touching a seat used by a menstruating woman was unclean so perhaps unclean means that God doesn’t allow it and not that it necessarily is dirty or infectious or that it is magically infectious. Even many pagan gods hated dirt, real and imagined, and considered it disrespectful. Thus, some believe they detect that eating animals that have died without being killed is not forbidden because of the danger of infection at all. But the Hebrews saw a connection between dirt and sickness but they did not know what the connection was. They did not know about germs. They were thinking in terms of dirt magically causing the dirt of sickness as did many occultic systems in those days. The verse says that the animal may be given for food to other races. Are we to conclude that God does not mind who dies from food poisoning and infection as long as it is not people from Hebrew descent? We would if the fundamentalists had their way for the Bible has a racist God. Many nations unrelated to the Law encapsulated this ban on eating such animals in their own laws. This is a sign that no miraculous enlightenment was required for knowing that the consumption of animals who died naturally was not commendable.
Deuteronomy 23:12-14 tells the people to dispose of sewage by burying it away from where people live. Fundamentalists drop their jaws in false amazement at this pretending that it is proof that God knew that this prevents infection which was not known in those days and that the Bible must be inspired. But the text tells us that this must be done for God does not like it dirtying the land or to see it when he goes about the land and who would want excrement on full view? It also shows that God would despise sodomy for he would find it grossly indecent.
Moses forbade people to drink water from stagnant pools and which flesh had rotted in (Leviticus 11:29-36). This does not mean that God told him in advance of science about the discoveries of bacteriology for God said that any pan touched by this water must be broken and thrown away and not boiled to sterilise it. God forbids it because he doesn’t like it – who would? – and not because it is dangerous. God never said that contaminated water is infectious yet fundamentalists pretend that this is the proper reasoning behind this verse!
Is the Bible law that people must avoid contact with leprosy (Leviticus 13) evidence that God revealed to humanity that it is infectious? But the blasted book says that leprosy could spread when it infects a damp wall so the sense came from human observation and not from a divine revelation. Leprosy in the Bible is any mould or rash or skin infection and is not just the disease we call leprosy now (page 122, Bible Dictionary and Concordance, New American Bible).
Pigs are maligned as unclean food but they are not when cleaned and cooked right. Animals revered by the pagan nations around Israel were thought to be unclean just because Israel disputed other religionists (ibid 29).
The Bible has a magical and not a scientific understanding of infection. It supposes that magical forces spread disease. It is plain that God did not know about germs or understand fully how infection could be stopped.
There is no evidence that the Bible was written by a being that knows all things. There is no reason to believe in the Bible as the word of God. We have no right to do it because God would not want us to honour a book as his voice when it may not be or is not his voice at all.
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An Act of God, Graham Philips, Sidgwick and Jackson, London, 1998
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Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
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God Cannot Lie, David Alsobrook, Diasozo Trust, Kent, 1989
God, Science and Evolution, Prof E H Andrews, Evangelical Press, Herts, 1985
God’s Word, Final Infallible and Forever, Floyd C McElveen, Gospel Truth Ministries, Grand Rapids, 1985
Hard Sayings, Derek Kidner, InterVarsity Press, London, 1972
How and Why Catholic and Protestant Bibles Differ, Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ and Donald Senior, CP, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1983
How to Interpret the Bible, Fergus Cleary SJ, Ligouri Publications, Missouri, 1981
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Let’s Weigh the Evidence, Which Bible is the Real Word of God? Barry Burton, Chick Publications, Chino, California, 1983
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Know Why You Believe, Paul E Little, Scripture Union, London, 1971
New Age Bible Versions, GA Riplinger, Bible & Literature Foundation, Tennessee, 1993
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None of These Diseases, SI McMillen MD, Lakeland, London 1966
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Which Version Now? Bob Sheehan, Carey Publications, 5 Fairford Close, Haywards Heath, Sussex RH16 3EF
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Why Does God..? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Pauls , Bucks, 1970
Why People Believe Weird Things, Michael Shermer, Freeman, New York, 1997