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Archive for the ‘Inconsistency’ Category

Rational Uncle

Q: My uncle just laughs when I say something about the Bible, because he says it’s full of errors and contradictions. How can I answer him? It’s hard to talk to him about religion because he doesn’t feel any need for God. — K.F.

A: Before answering your uncle you should read the parts of the bible he is talking about. There are lists here, here, here, and here. You will then see that your uncle is correct. The bible is full of contradictions and errors. As I wrote just last Friday, Christians must choose which parts to follow and which parts to ignore. I think that if you must make this decision, the validity of all of the bible is highly suspect. How could you know which parts are important and which are not? The most logical explanation of the errors and contradictions in the bible is that it was written by many different people over a long period of time, and had nothing to do with any gods.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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Hypocrites

Q: If Christianity is true, then why are most of the so-called “Christians” I know hypocrites? I’d rather be a complete unbeliever (which is what I am) than someone who claims to be a Christian but doesn’t act like it. At least I try to be a good person, and they don’t. — J.H.

A: I think that many self-proclaimed Christians are hypocrites precisely because Christianity is not true. The bible has so many inconsistencies and contradictions, that its is logically impossible to live by all of the rules contained therein. People who believe that the bible is the “word of God”, must necessarily choose which parts to follow and which to ignore. They do this even if they don’t realize it. Therefore, they may appear to act hypocritically because they are in fact ignoring certain parts of the bible. The hypocrisy is most noticeable when people choose to interpret the bible (choose which parts to follow and which to ignore) in different ways.

I also think that some Christians behave in deplorable ways because they believe that only faith (not good works) is required for salvation after death. (I’ve addressed this topic before.)

This picture is relevant to your final comment about trying to be a good person without religion.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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Q: One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to read some of the Bible every day. But like most of my resolutions, I’ve failed to keep it. I found some of it interesting, but I didn’t really understand most of it, so I stopped. Was I doing something wrong? — A.J.L.

A: I can’t blame you for stopping. The bible is a horrible book. It’s horribly boring, horribly cruel1, horribly inconsistent2, horribly wrong3, horribly misogynistic4, horribly absurd5, and has horrible credibility6. Many people have said that the best argument against the existence of the Christian god is the bible itself, and I tend to agree.

1 The bible describes its god as a murderer of millions (including infants!)
2 There are two different creation stories in Genesis. More examples here.
3 The sun revolves around the Earth? More examples here.
4 Men can divorce their wives, but women cannot divorce their husbands. More examples here.
5 A donkey sees an angel, recognizes it as such, and then speaks in human language (presumably Hebrew) to his master. Taken from here.
6 The bible is incredible (i.e., too improbable to be believed).

Billy Graham’s answer.

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Q: I really do believe in Jesus, but sometimes I wonder if it’s all too good to be true. What I mean is, how can God possibly love us and forgive us when we treat Him so badly? If I were God, I don’t think I’d bother with the human race, let alone let us into heaven. — G.R.

A: There is very little (if any) truth in the bible. It is both too good and too horrible to be true. It’s too good to be true because it says that people who perform horrible acts throughout their lives can repent on their death bed and go to paradise when they die. It’s too horrible to be true because it says that its all-powerful god not only allows evil to exist, but perpetrates mass murder and genocide. It’s also too absurd, too bigoted, too misogynistic, and too contradictory to be the true word of a loving god. If I were you, I don’t think I’d bother with any gods. If you consider belief in a supernatural deity and think for yourself, you are likely to reject any such beliefs as irrational.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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History Fail

Q: Does our annual Thanksgiving holiday come from the Bible? If so, did the people in Bible times celebrate it when we do today? I’ve always been curious about this. — K.J.

A: No. Your knowledge of both the bible and American history is atrocious. Based on your question, I would guess there is much in the bible that you are not familiar with. If you carefully read the bible with an open mind, you will find that it is full of errors, inconsistencies, and absurdities. If you also read about the history of the bible (both the Old Testament and New Testament), you will see there is even more reason to doubt it’s veracity. After realizing this, many rational people come to the conclusion that stories in the bible are either myth or legend, and are not to be taken as true.

I would also urge you to read about American and world history. You can start by reading about the history of the American Thanksgiving. Then you should go to your local public library and read some books about American and world history.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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Q: My brother and sisters don’t have much to do with me because they’re all real religious and I’m not. You’ll probably tell me I need God, and maybe I do, but aren’t Christians supposed to be kind and loving? They sure aren’t that way with me, so why should I be like them? — R.M.

A: I won’t tell you that you need to believe in a god. I will tell you that it is highly rational not to believe in any gods. Christians often behave in ways that contradict what the bible says. I think the main reason for this is the bible contains a very large number of self-contradictions. It’s possible for a Christian to follow what one part of the bible says and to violate another part of the bible simultaneously. This often leads to a mentality that has recently been called “Self-Projection as God”. This is the thought process that many Christians go through when they try to reconcile the many bible contradictions. Since this is logically impossible, the individual Christian must choose which parts of the bible to follow and which to reject. This process is naturally guided by the individual’s personal morality and desires. If your siblings want to shun you, they have probably found a biblical justification for their decision. They believe in a god that suits their needs.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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Bring a Sword or Peace?

Q: What did Jesus mean when he said somewhere that he came to bring a sword to the earth? This seems to be the opposite of what he said elsewhere, about bringing us peace if we’ll follow him. — Mrs. K.T.

A: Your guess is as good as mine or anyone else’s. You have discovered one of a very large number of biblical inconsistencies. These occur in both the New and Old Testaments. Here are just a few of the many sites that list these inconsistencies.

The most rational explanation for these inconsistencies are that the bible was written by many different human authors (from different cultures and even speaking different languages) and is not the divine truth delivered by a supernatural god. The books that comprise the bible we know today were approved as canon in the 4th century C.E. Many other books (labeled as apocryphal) that recount stories similar to those in the official canon (both Old and New Testament) were not included in the canon. This is just further evidence that the bible is man-made fiction.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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