Re: virus: E4C

Eric Boyd (
Thu, 1 Apr 1999 15:21:54 -0500


From: Snow Leopard <> <<
A new argument that I know is only going to make everyone open-minded think, and the close-minded angry: (I’m already laughing at the hysterical replies you haven’t sent yet)

This is addressed to all atheists who set eyes here.

           In a way, you’re right.
           It’s easier to prove NOTHING,
           To believe NOTHING,
           To trust NOTHING
           And in a way, you’ll never be disappointed.
           But as you think about NOTHING
           Write about NOTHING,
           And do NOTHING,
           I’m doing something for Someone.


In the strictest sense, of course, this is true. Atheism is not a religion, atheism is not a way of life, atheism is nothing but a simple lack of belief -- it is the bedrock of sanity in an insane world.

But, you'll be hard pressed to find anybody who is *just* an atheist.

>(i) Saul was killed by his own hands (1 Sam. 31:4), by a young
>Amalekite (2 Samuel 1:10), by the Philistines (2 Sam. 21:12)>>

“By the Philistines” is not a valid conclusion, check the context and you will find that they hung his dead body, it was not an execution. As for the other two, it’s possible that Saul tried to kill himself, failed, and was then ‘aided’ (or whatever) by the young man.

1 Samuel 31:3-5 (English-NIV)
The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically.
Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me." But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.
When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him.

2 Samuel 1:6-10 (English-NIV)
"I happened to be on Mount Gilboa," the young man said, "and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and riders almost upon him.
When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, `What can I do?'
"He asked me, `Who are you?' "`An Amalekite,' I answered. 9
"Then he said to me, `Stand over me and kill me! I am in the throes of death, but I'm still alive.'
"So I stood over him and killed him, because I knew that after he
had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my lord."

2 Samuel 21:11-13 (English-NIV)
When David was told what Aiah's daughter Rizpah, Saul's concubine, had done,
he went and took the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead. (They had taken them secretly from the public square at Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hung them after they struck Saul down on Gilboa.)
David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from there, and the bones of those who had been killed and exposed were gathered up.

The words speak for themselves.

As for my personal statement that I would not kill for God, I did not say that it’s not within God’s limits to take a life, after all, he gave that person life to begin with. Since those people were all going to die eventually, it makes sense to minimize the suffering of others.

Ahhhhh! I hope I'm not alone in thinking that the last statement above is about the most terrible thing I have ever read. According to it, you can justify all sorts of nastly stuff.

"I thought, if I murdered them all, my family would all go to heaven, and at least later on, I would have a chance to go to heaven; however, if I committed suicide, it would be 100% automatic that I would go to hell." -- John List, who murdered his mother, wife, and three children

Quick note on faith, logic and sanity.
The disciples, (assuming, for the sake of argument, they existed) followed Jesus (assuming, for the sake of argument, he existed) for <snip>
If the early Christians were crazy enough to stick their necks out for a lie, then I’d expect even more inconsistencies within a single gospel account, and some gospel writers would hide their own crimes. For example, why would the gospels talk about the disciples falling asleep in the garden? It benefits no one, and hurts the image of the disciples.

This argument, often given as it is, proves nothing, becuase (a) you've made two *very* large assumptions at the beginning, and (b) religious groups all over the world have sprung up under similar presecution, and yet they aren't true simply becuase of it. (the Mormon's come to mind) In addition, one need only read _The Decline and Fall_ to have your image of the actual level of Christian persection demolished forever. Roman were in general quite tolerant of different religions, and even though rules were "on the books" for most of the first few centuries, they were not commonly used -- in fact, many local rulers even helped the Christians.


Scholars have analysed the verses in question and concluded that the Romans never did post such a guard. That tale, like many others in Matthew, was invented out of whole cloth BY Matthew -- which explains, amoung other things, why it's not in Mark, Luke or John. I consider Matthew to be entirely unreliable in factual matters.

In addition, when someone said “Here’s the basis of Buddhism” there was no problem. If I had said, “here’s the primary meme of Squidism or Rabbitology” you wouldn’t have violently attacked those.

That's becuase people generally agree about the fundamental memes of Buddhism and IPU theology. No such agreement exists about Christianity -- ones "fundamental" stance depends on how you view Paul, on how you view James, on what you think Jesus preached, on your understanding of Roman times and customs. Read a few Christian Theology books, and you'll quickly see what I mean.

I'll ask again -- what did Jesus preach?