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GOD, THE INFINITE REGRESS, & SPECIAL PLEADING

On: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

 Here are some great examples of special pleading & pseudo-logic. Enjoy

Christian -

1. It follows that, if there is no beginning, then the past of the universe is also endless. Hence, if we try and regress into the distant past, we will just have to go on forever:


2. But this is supposing that the past flows in only one direction, i.e. away from the present, when the past really ends in the present and continues into the future:

3. Hence, the past is not endless but is rather extending towards infinity, and so is not itself infinite in degree.

4. It follows that the universe cannot have an endless past, but instead must have a finite past.

5. Therefore, the universe is not beginningless but must have had a definite and absolute beginning.

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Atheist -

Let us "theistically" (for the sake of argument) assume that God is beginningless:

1. It follows that, if there is no beginning, then the past of God is also endless. Hence, if we try and regress into the distant past, we will just have to go on forever:

2. But this is supposing that the past flows in only one direction, i.e. away from the present, when the past really ends in the present and continues into the future:

3. Hence, the past is not endless but is rather extending towards infinity, and so is not itself infinite in degree.

4. It follows that God cannot have an endless past, but instead must have a finite past.

Remember these are "examples" :0)


or are they?

Cognitive Dissonance - Leon Festinger

On: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cognitive dissonance
"A man with conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.

We have all experienced the futility of trying to change a strong conviction, especially if the convinced person has some investment in his belief. We are familiar with the variety of ingenious defenses with which people protect their convictions, managing to keep them unscathed through the most devastating attacks.

But man's resourcefulness goes beyond simply protecting a belief. Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong; what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view." - Leon Festinger,
When Prophecy Fails, published in 1956:

Atheist Superbowl Commercial - Best Commercial on the PLANET

On: Monday, February 3, 2014


Jesus' Resurrection Debunked In One Page

On: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jesus' Resurrection Debunked In One Page   by Chris Hallquist



Among Evangelical Christians, it’s become popular to claim that Jesus’ resurrection can be proved

with historical evidence. This is nonsense. Here’s why:

1. There is no evidence for the resurrection outside the Bible. Non-Christian historical references

to Jesus don’t occur until about six decades after the time when Biblical scholars think he probably

died. When these non-Christian sources refer to Jesus’ miracles, there’s no reason to see them as

anything more than a report of what Christians of the time believed.


2. There is little evidence that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, or based directly on

eyewitness accounts. Most of what the Bible says about Jesus’ life and supposed resurrection is in

the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, (a.k.a. the Gospels).

But Biblical scholars now agree these books were originally anonymous, their names added later.

The traditional Christian claims about who wrote them are now widely doubted by scholars.


3. This means that the Gospels can’t be trusted as evidence for miracles. Imagine someone trying

to convert you to another religion based on the “proof” of the miracles worked by the religion’s

founder... in the form of a handful of anonymous tracts recounting his life. Would you accept that

“proof”? Of course not. Among other things, the stories could just be legends.


4.One of Paul’s letters provides evidence that a number of people claimed Jesus had appeared to

them after his death. But this isn’t proof of a miracle. The passage is 1

most Biblical scholars agree it was really written by Paul. But again, would you accept similar

evidence in favor of another religion’s miracles? The Mormon church has statements signed by

several people attesting to miracles that are supposed to confirm the truth of the Book of the

Mormon, but you probably won’t convert to Mormonism based on that. Also, Paul doesn’t tell us

how he knows about all these appearances, so we can’t be confident his report is accurate.


5. Reports that Jesus’ disciples were martyred prove nothing. Reports of the martyrdom of Jesus’

disciples do not occur in this historical record until long after their deaths would have occurred, and

accounts sometimes conflict with one another. It could be that most, even all, of these stories are

legends. In any case, not only do people sometimes give up their lives for delusions, even outright

charlatans have been killed for their claims. Joseph Smith was probably a charlatan, but he died at

the hands of a lynch mob. So we can’t rule out deception among Jesus’ followers.


6. Claims that this or that individual couldn’t possibly have hallucinated are nonsense. Even

apparently sane people hallucinate for a wide variety of reasons and under a wide variety of

circumstances. We can’t rule this out for people who claimed to have seen the risen Jesus.


7. Even if there were several people in Paul’s day who would have claimed to have all seen the

risen Jesus at the same time, their testimony might not have stood up to scrutiny. There have been

cases where a group of children have claimed to see the Virgin Mary, and been taken seriously by

adults who should have known better. In many of these cases, the children were questioned

individually and their descriptions of what they saw didn’t match, suggesting deception or delusion.


8. That’s it. Part of me thinks that what I’ve said in this one page is all that needs to be said on the

subject. But if you want to know how I back up these claims, you can get my book UFOs, Ghosts,

and a Rising God: Debunking the Resurrection of Jesus. The book also includes a crash course in

New Testament scholarship, discussions of faith healing and Biblical prophecy, and plenty of tidbits

about the strange beliefs people have had throughout history. It’s available on Amazon, and there’s

more information, including links to reviews, on my website,  UncredibleHallq.net.

When Theists Demand Open-Mindedness

On: Monday, December 16, 2013


Want To Sell Your Coat?

On: Friday, December 6, 2013



  I recently had a really bizarre experience at one of our local thrift stores. As usual on Fridays I comb our local thrift stores for records or cassette tapes for my collection. (I will explain that later in another post.) As I was looking through some records I noticed I was being watched. Now normally this kind of thing doesn't bother me but this time it was different. There was a boy, I would say around 10 or 11 standing right next to me, you know, in my "comfort zone", staring at me. I tried to ignore this boy but he just stood there.
 I slowly turned to look at him & he said "Do you like your coat?".
Stunned by what he asked I politely said "yes, I do".
 I turned back to continue my search through the old vinyl when I heard him say, "Where did you get your coat?".
 I had to think about this one. I replied "I did not buy it, my wife got if for me as a present"
Again the boy asked, "Do you like your coat?"
 I thought,"what the fuck? Do I like my coat? What kind of question is that?" I politely said " why yes I do"
 I turned away to find the boy still staring at me. I really hoped he would just go away but, no, he had to ask another question.
"Do you want to sell your coat", the boy asked
Ok, now I was bit freaked out. I began looking around to see if anyone was near by that the boy belonged to. I did not see anyone paying any interest in the boy.
It took me some time to think about a reply and all I could come up with was, "no, I don't think so"
 The boy, looking blank, just kept staring at me. I decided I had enough. As I turned to leave I noticed that the boy had disappeared. Vanished without a trace. I needed to leave quickly before he showed up again.
 As I was leaving, I thought to myself, "man., that was just creepy. Who would ever ask some stranger if they wanted to sell their North Face coat, at a thrift store, to a ten year old boy?" I think I will be more reluctant to visit that thrift store for awhile.

Christian Atrocities: Three Centuries Of Pagan Persecution

On: Monday, July 29, 2013

Christian Atrocities: Three Centuries Of Pagan Persecution

314CE Immediately after its full legalisation, the Christian Church attacks non-Christians. The Council of Ancyra denounces the worship of Goddess Artemis.

324CE The emperor Constantine declares Christianity as the only official religion of the Roman Empire. In Dydima, Minor Asia, he sacks the Oracle of the god Apollo and tortures the pagan priests to death. He also evicts all non-Christian peoples from Mount Athos and destroys all the local Hellenic temples.

325CE Nicene Council. The godman gets a promotion: 'Christ is Divine'

326CE Constantine, following the instructions of his mother Helen, destroys the temple of the god Asclepius in Aigeai Cilicia and many temples of the goddess Aphrodite in Jerusalem, Aphaca, Mambre, Phoenicia, Baalbek, etc.

330CE Constantine steals the treasures and statues of the pagan temples of Greece to decorate Constantinople, the new capital of his Empire.

335CE Constantine sacks many pagan temples in Asia Minor and Palestine and orders the execution by crucifixion of “all magicians and soothsayers.” Martyrdom of the neoplatonist philosopher Sopatrus.

341CE Constantius II (Flavius Julius Constantius) persecutes “all the soothsayers and the Hellenists.” Many gentile Hellenes are either imprisoned or executed.

346CE New large scale persecutions against non-Christian peoples in Constantinople. Banishment of the famous orator Libanius accused as a “magician”.

353CE An edict of Constantius orders the death penalty for all kind of worship through sacrifice and “idols”.

354CE A new edict orders the closing of all the pagan temples. Some of them are profaned and turned into brothels or gambling rooms.

Execution of pagan priests begins.

A new edict of Constantius orders the destruction of the pagan temples and the execution of all “idolaters”.

First burning of libraries in various cities of the empire.

The first lime factories are organised next to the closed pagan temples. A major part of the holy architecture of the pagans is turned into lime.

357CE Constantius outlaws all methods of divination (astrology not excluded).

359CE In Skythopolis, Syria, the Christians organise the first death camps for the torture and executions of the arrested non-Christians from all around the empire.

361CE to 363CE Religious tolerance and restoration of the pagan cults is declared in Constantinople (11th December 361) by the pagan emperor Julian (Flavius Claudius Julianus).

363CE Assassination of Julian (26th June).

364CE Emperor Jovian orders the burning of the Library of Antioch.

An Imperial edict (11th September) orders the death penalty for all those that worship their ancestral gods or practice divination (“sileat omnibus perpetuo divinandi curiositas”).

Three different edicts (4th February, 9th September, 23rd December) order the confiscation of all properties of the pagan temples and the death penalty for participation in pagan rituals, even private ones.

The Church Council of Laodicea (Phrygia – western Asia Minor) orders that religious observances are to be conducted on Sunday and not on Saturday. Sunday becomes the new Sabbath. The practice of staying at home and resting on Saturday declared sinful and anathema to Christ.

365 An imperial edict from Emperor Valens, a zealous Arian Christian (17th November), forbids pagan officers of the army to command Christian soldiers.

370 Valens orders a tremendous persecution of non-Christian peoples in all the Eastern Empire. In Antioch, among many other non-Christians, the ex-governor Fidustius and the priests Hilarius and Patricius are executed. The philosopher Simonides is burned alive and the philosopher Maximus is decapitated. All the friends of Julian are persecuted (Orebasius, Sallustius, Pegasius etc.).

Tons of books are burnt in the squares of the cities of the Eastern Empire.

372CE Valens orders the governor of Minor Asia to exterminate all the Hellenes and all documents of their wisdom.

373CE New prohibition of all divination methods is issued. The term “pagan” (pagani, villagers, equivalent to the modern insult, “peasants”) is introduced by the Christians to demean non-believers.

375CE The temple of Asclepius in Epidaurus, Greece, is closed down by the Christians.

380CE On 27th February Christianity becomes the exclusive religion of the Roman Empire by an edict of the Emperor Flavius Theodosius, requiring that:

"All the various nations which are subject to our clemency and moderation should continue in the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter."

The non-Christians are called “loathsome, heretics, stupid and blind”.

In another edict, Theodosius calls “insane” those that do not believe to the Christian God and outlaws all disagreement with the Church dogmas.

Ambrosius, bishop of Milan, begins the destruction of pagan temples of his area. The Christian priests lead the hungry mob against the temple of goddess Demeter in Eleusis and try to lynch the hierophants Nestorius and Priskus. The 95 year old hierophant Nestorius ends the Eleusinian Mysteries and announces "the predominance of mental darkness over the human race."

381CE At the Council of Constantinople the 'Holy Spirit' is declared 'Divine' (thus sanctioning a triune god). On 2nd May, Theodosius deprives of all their rights any Christians who return to the pagan religion. Throughout the Eastern Empire the pagan temples and libraries are looted or burned down. On 21st December, Theodosius outlaws visits to Hellenic temples.

In Constantinople, the Temple of Aphrodite is turned into a brothel and the temples of the Sun and Artemis to stables.

382CE “Hellelujah” (“Glory to Yahweh”) is imposed in the Christian mass.

384CE Theodosius orders the Praetorian Prefect Maternus Cynegius, a dedicated Christian, to cooperate with local bishops and destroy the temples of the pagans in Northern Greece and Minor Asia.

385CE to 388CE Prefect Maternus Cynegius, encouraged by his fanatic wife, and bishop 'Saint' Marcellus with his gangs, scour the countryside and sack and destroy hundreds of Hellenic temples, shrines and altars. Among others they destroy the temple of Edessa, the Cabeireion of Imbros, the temple of Zeus in Apamea, the temple of Apollo in Dydima and all the temples of Palmyra.

Thousands of innocent pagans from all sides of the empire suffer martyrdom in the notorious death camps of Skythopolis.

386CE Theodosius outlaws the care of the sacked pagan temples.

388CE Public talks on religious subjects are outlawed by Theodosius. The old orator Libanius sends his famous epistle “Pro Templis” to Theodosius with the hope that the few remaining Hellenic temples will be respected and spared.

389CE to 390CE All non-Christian calendars and dating-methods are outlawed. Hordes of fanatic hermits from the desert flood the cities of the Middle East and Egypt and destroy statues, altars, libraries and pagan temples, and lynch the pagans. Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, starts heavy persecutions against non-Christian peoples, turning the temple of Dionysius into a Christian church, burning down the Mithraeum of the city, destroying the temple of Zeus and burlesques the pagan priests before they are killed by stoning. The Christian mob profanes the cult images.

391CE On 24th February, a new edict of Theodosius prohibits not only visits to pagan temples but also looking at the vandalised statues. New heavy persecutions occur all around the empire. In Alexandria, Egypt, pagans, led by the philosopher Olympius, revolt and after some street fights they lock themselves inside the fortified temple of the god Serapis (the Serapeion). After a violent siege, the Christians take over the building, demolish it, burn its famous library and profane the cult images.

392CE On 8th November, Theodosius outlaws all the non-Christian rituals and names them “superstitions of the gentiles” (gentilicia superstitio). New full scale persecutions are ordered against pagans. The Mysteries of Samothrace are ended and the priests slaughtered. In Cyprus the local bishop “Saint” Epiphanius and “Saint” Tychon destroy almost all the temples of the island and exterminate thousands of non-Christians. The local Mysteries of goddess Aphrodite are ended. Theodosius’s edict declares:

“the ones that won’t obey pater Epiphanius have no right to keep living in that island.”

The pagans revolt against the Emperor and the Church in Petra, Aeropolis, Rafia, Gaza, Baalbek and other cities of the Middle East.

393CE The Pythian Games, the Aktia Games and the Olympic Games are outlawed as part of the Hellenic “idolatry”. The Christians sack the temples of Olympia.

395CE Two new edicts (22nd July and 7th August) cause new persecutions against pagans. Rufinus, the eunuch Prime Minister of Emperor Flavius Arcadius directs the hordes of baptised Goths (led by Alaric) to the country of the Hellenes. Encouraged by Christian monks the barbarians sack and burn many cities (Dion, Delphi, Megara, Corinth, Pheneos, Argos, Nemea, Lycosoura, Sparta, Messene, Phigaleia, Olympia, etc.), slaughter or enslave innumerable gentile Hellenes and burn down all the temples. Among others, they burn down the Eleusinian Sanctuary and burn alive all its priests (including the hierophant of Mithras Hilarius).

396CE On 7th December, a new edict by Arcadius orders that paganism be treated as high treason. Imprisonment of the few remaining pagan priests and hierophants.

397CE “Demolish them!” Flavius Arcadius orders that all the still standing pagan temples be demolished.

398CE The 4th Church Council of Carthage prohibits everybody, including Christian bishops, from studying pagan books. Porphyrius, bishop of Gaza, demolishes almost all the pagan temples of his city (except nine of them that remain active).

399CE With a new edict (13th July) Flavius Arcadius orders all remaining pagan temples, mainly in the countryside, be immediately demolished.

400CE Bishop Nicetas destroys the Oracle of Dionysus in Vesai and baptises all the non-Christians of this area.

401CE The Christian mob of Carthage lynches non-Christians and destroys temples and “idols”. In Gaza too, the local bishop “Saint” Porphyrius sends his followers to lynch pagans and to demolish the remaining nine still active temples of the city.

The 15th Council of Chalcedon orders all the Christians that still keep good relations with their non-Christian relatives to be excommunicated (even after their death).

405CE John Chrysostom sends hordes of grey-dressed monks armed with clubs and iron bars to destroy the “idols” in all the cities of Palestine.

406CE John Chrysostom collects funds from rich Christian women to financially support the demolition of the Hellenic temples. In Ephesus he orders the destruction of the famous temple of Artemis. In Salamis, Cyprus, “Saints” Epiphanius and Eutychius continue the persecutions of the pagans and the total destruction of their temples and sanctuaries.

407CE A new edict outlaws once more all the non-Christian acts of worship.

408CE The emperor of the Western Empire, Honorius, and the emperor of the Eastern Empire, Arcadius, order all the sculptures of the pagan temples to be either destroyed or to be taken away. Private ownership of pagan sculpture is also outlawed. The local bishops lead new heavy persecutions against the pagans and new book burning. The judges that have pity for the pagans are also persecuted. “Saint” Augustine massacres hundreds of protesting pagans in Calama, Algeria.

409CE Another edict orders all methods of divination including astrology to be punished by death.

415CE In Alexandria, the Christian mob, urged by the bishop Cyril, attacks a few days before the Judeo-Christian Pascha (Easter) and cuts to pieces the famous and beautiful philosopher Hypatia. The pieces of her body, carried around by the Christian mob through the streets of Alexandria, are finally burned together with her books in a place called Cynaron.

On 30th August, new persecutions start against all the pagan priests of North Africa who end their lives either crucified or burned alive. Emperor Theodosius II expels the ***s from Alexandria.

416CE The inquisitor Hypatius, alias “The Sword of God”, exterminates the last pagans of Bithynia. In Constantinople (7th December) all non-Christian army officers, public employees and judges are dismissed.

423CE Emperor Theodosius II declares (8th June) that the religion of the pagans is nothing more than “demon worship” and orders all those who persist in practicing it to be punished by imprisonment and torture.

429CE The temple of goddess Athena (Parthenon) on the Acropolis of Athens is sacked. The Athenian pagans are persecuted.

431CE Council of Ephesus ("Robber Synod"). Promotion for the godman – "Christ is complete God and complete man."

435CE On 14th November, a new edict by Theodosius II orders the death penalty for all “heretics” and pagans of the empire. Only Judaism is considered a legal non-Christian religion.

438CE Theodosius II issues an new edict (31st January) against the pagans, incriminating their “idolatry” as the reason of a recent plague!

440CE to 450CE The Christians demolish all the monuments, altars and temples of Athens, Olympia, and other Greek cities.
book burning

448CE Theodosius II orders all non-Christian books to be burned.

450CE All the temples of Aphrodisias (the City of the Goddess Aphrodite) are demolished and all its libraries burned down. The city is renamed Stavroupolis (City of the Cross).

451CE Council of Chalcedon. New edict by Theodosius II (4th November) emphasises that “idolatry” is punished by death. Assertion of orthodox doctrine over the 'Monophysites' – 'JC has single, divine nature.'

457CE to 491CE Sporadic persecutions against the pagans of the Eastern Empire. Among others, the physician Jacobus and the philosopher Gessius are executed. Severianus, Herestios, Zosimus, Isidorus and others are tortured and imprisoned. The proselytiser Conon and his followers exterminate the last non-Christians of Imbros Island, Northeast Aegean Sea. The last worshippers of Lavranius Zeus are exterminated in Cyprus.

482CE to 488CE The majority of the pagans of Minor Asia are exterminated after a desperate revolt against the emperor and the Church.

486CE More “underground” pagan priests are discovered, arrested, burlesqued, tortured and executed in Alexandria, Egypt.
full body baptism 515 Baptism becomes obligatory even for those that already say they are Christians.

The emperor of Constantinople, Anastasius, orders the massacre of the pagans in the Arabian city Zoara and the demolition of the temple of local god Theandrites.

523CE Emperor Justin I outlaws the Arian heresy and campaigns to suppress Arianism everywhere.

528CE Emperor Justinian outlaws the “alternative” Olympian Games of Antioch. He also orders the execution—by fire, crucifixion, tearing to pieces by wild beasts or cutting to pieces by iron nails—of all who practice “sorcery, divination, magic or idolatry” and prohibits all teachings by the pagans (“the ones suffering from the blasphemous insanity of the Hellenes”).

529CE Justinian outlaws the Athenian Philosophical Academy and has its property confiscated.

532CE The inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus, a fanatical monk, leads a crusade against the pagans of Minor Asia.

542CE Justinian allows the inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus to forcibly convert the pagans of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia in Asia Minor. Within 35 years of this crusade, 99 churches and 12 monasteries are built on the sites of demolished pagan temples.

546CE Hundreds of pagans are put to death in Constantinople by the inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus.

556CE Justinian orders the notorious inquisitor Amantius to go to Antioch, to find, arrest, torture and exterminate the last non-Christians of the city and burn all the private libraries down.

562CE Mass arrests, burlesquing, tortures, imprisonments and executions of gentile Hellenes in Athens, Antioch, Palmyra and Constantinople.

578CE to 582CE The Christians torture and crucify Hellenes all around the Eastern Empire, and exterminate the last non-Christians of Heliopolis (Baalbek).

580CE The Christian inquisitors attack a secret temple of Zeus in Antioch. The priest commits suicide, but the rest of the pagans are arrested. All the prisoners, the Vice Governor Anatolius included, are tortured and sent to Constantinople to face trial. Sentenced to death they are thrown to the lions. The wild animals being unwilling to tear them to pieces, they end up crucified. Their dead bodies are dragged in the streets by the Christian mob and afterwards thrown unburied in the dump.

583CE New persecutions against the gentile Hellenes by Emperor Maurice.

590CE In all the Eastern Empire the Christian accusers “discover” pagan conspiracies. New storm of torture and executions.