What is the Best Method to Determine if the Bible is True: Use Good Ol’ Common Sense

Bible and Koran (Qur an) and Book of MormonDear Readers: Isn’t it amazing how for every alleged contradiction/discrepancy in the Bible, Christian scholars have a ready explanation to resolve it? This is referred to as a “harmonization”. So if Christian scholars have a harmonization for every criticism that skeptics can throw at them, doesn’t that mean that the Christian supernatural claims in the Bible must be true?

Answer: No.

And here is why: Muslim and Mormon scholars can do the EXACT same thing with their holy books!

Go onto a Muslim website moderated by Muslim scholars and they too will have a “harmonization” for every alleged contradiction/discrepancy in the Koran. Why? They have had 1,400 years to come up with them. Go to a Mormon website moderated by Mormon scholars and you will find the same thing: a good Mormon scholar can refute any claim against the Book of Mormon. You will not be able to “stump” them with any allegation of error or contradiction. And they have had only 200 years to come up with harmonizations for their holy book!

Christian scholars have had TWO THOUSAND years to come up with harmonizations for every one of the scores of alleged errors and contradictions in the Bible. So we skeptics will NEVER stump them. They will ALWAYS have a ready harmonization.

So how can you as a layperson, a non-scholar, know for sure if your holy book, the Bible, is true? I have a suggestion: Use good ol’ common sense! Would a perfect, all-knowing God write his message to mankind in a letter (the Bible) that is so confusing that even Christians can’t agree on what it says, even on the most basic of beliefs, such as how one avoids eternal torture in Hell??

The majority of the world’s Christians believe that one attains salvation by being baptized and then being obedient to Christian teachings for the rest of your life. A minority of Christians believe that baptism is important but not critical, believing and repenting is what really matters. Most Christians believe that there is no guarantee of salvation, while others insist their is. Would a loving, compassionate, all-knowing God really risk so many people’s eternal destiny by writing such a confusing letter to them that even though they sincerely TRY to do what God wants, they still end up in Hell because they didn’t pick the correct Christian denomination or sect??? It is estimated there are over THIRTY THOUSAND different Christian denominations and sects on the planet and every one of them believes that they ALONE have the correct interpretation of God’s message.

Really, folks?

Your God is either sloppy and disorganized or he is a sinister, sadistic monster. If he were truly loving and compassionate, he would make sure than every human being receives a very clear and convincing warning about Hell and clear and convincing instructions about how to avoid going there.

But he didn’t do that, did he?

So maybe neither the Book of Mormon, the Koran, the Hindu Scriptures, nor the Bible are the Word of our Creator, but only the sincere beliefs of ancient superstitious peoples.


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13 thoughts on “What is the Best Method to Determine if the Bible is True: Use Good Ol’ Common Sense

  1. Your good old common sense is not like the next guys good old common sense.

    You said 'The majority of the world’s Christians believe that one attains salvation by being baptized and then being obedient to Christian teachings for the rest of your life'. Really?? Salvation by good works?? Not. You cant do enough of those good works.

    You wrote 'Would a loving, compassionate, all-knowing God really risk so many people’s eternal destiny by writing such a confusing letter to them that even though they sincerely TRY to do what God wants, they still end up in Hell because they didn’t pick the correct Christian denomination or sect??? It is estimated there are over THIRTY THOUSAND different Christian denominations and sects on the planet and every one of them believes that they ALONE have the correct interpretation of God’s message.' Really?? I don't think so. No wonder you are so confused as you try to deprogram yourself. Try as you might you will not succeed. You can't. You aren't capable.
    .
    You wrote ' If he (God) were truly loving and compassionate, he would make sure than every human being receives a very clear and convincing warning about Hell and clear and convincing instructions about how to avoid going there.'. God has done this but you refuse to listen or believe it.

    Chris

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  2. “You said 'The majority of the world’s Christians believe that one attains salvation by being baptized and then being obedient to Christian teachings for the rest of your life'. Really?? Salvation by good works?? Not. You cant do enough of those good works.”

    You belong to one small sect of Christians who, I realize, believe that they are the only TRUE Christians on the planet. However, your personal opinion and that of your small sect on this issue is irrelevant.

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  3. Gary, you suggested that people use common sense to evaluate the Bible Then you begin with a mistaken premise and draw a conclusion which is as invalid as your premise. You wrote, “Would a perfect, all-knowing God write his message to mankind in a letter (the Bible) that is so confusing that even Christians can’t agree on what it says, even on the most basic of beliefs, such as how one avoids eternal torture in Hell??”

    Upon what basis have you concluded that the Bible was written by God? It doesn't claim such, and as a Mormon, I don't know of any Mormons who believe that God has written any scripture. You might be better served to find out what the purpose of the Bible is.

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  4. How do you know what I belong to? Or don't belong to? And YOU think I believe I am among a small sect believing they are the ONLY true Christians on the planet??

    Look at you:

    YOU believe YOU have the truth and want to share it with everyone . I quote what you wrote right at the top of this page: “I now follow Reason and Science. I want to share these truths with anyone interested in listening.” Ha! You are blinded. You are the one criticizing yourself. Open your eyes.

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  5. Hi Alma! We meet again. How quickly did this post (with a brief mention of Mormonism) show up on your “Mormon radar”?

    For those who are not aware, the Mormon Church has set up a network on the internet to monitor for any criticism of Mormonism or the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. If you post a comment critical of Mormonism you can expect a Mormon (usually an elder but sometimes a layperson) to refute your claim within 24 hours. This rebuttal was posted within an hour!

    Wow!

    What kind of mega computers are you guys using over there in Salt Lake, Alma?

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  6. Nice dodge–although irrelevant, Gary. I'm not aware of this alleged Mormon Church network; but your claim certainly changes the subject nicely. My presence on the web is entirely personal–and I'd be surprised if the LDS hierarchy were aware of me as an apologist. I do occasionally google for blog references to Mormonism–mainly because I enjoy discussing religion with many people.

    My original comment, however, still deserves a reply. Your premise is closely related to a straw man logical fallacy. You begin from a premise that isn't held by anyone who is sane and use it to further your own bogus conclusion. I have argued rather, discussed the Bible with lots of fundamentalist Christians and don't recall a single one who claimed that God wrote the Bible. I'm pretty sure they didn't believe that Moses, Matthew, Isaiah and John were God. N'est-ce pas ?

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  7. You are being a literalist, Alma, I'm sure you know what I meant: Men wrote the Bible but allegedly under the inspiration of the Christian/Mormon god, making the Christian/Mormon god the Editor-in-Chief of the Bible. Therefore, there is nothing written in the Bible that your god did not want included. He may not have written it, but he is (if he exists) still responsible for what it says.

    Now, back to the Mormon Radar. Would you be willing to swear on a stack of BOM's that the Mormon Church, or at a minimum, a group of Mormons encouraged and condoned by the Church, do NOT monitor the internet for comments critical of Mormonism? How exactly did YOU find this post? It was only published less than an hour prior to you posting your comment. Are you telling me that you are a regular reader of this “agnostic” blog? If so, Alma…are you having second thoughts about Joe's whole story about what happened in the woods in upstate New York?

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  8. “You are being a literalist, Alma, I'm sure you know what I meant…”

    And so the backpedaling begins. I can’t take literally what you write as an accurate representation of your argument—I have to instead perceive what you meant to write? But even then, your explanation is hardly representative of even a fraction of fundamentalist Christians; and not at all of Mormon theology. The first page of the Book of Mormon notes that if they are mistakes they’re there because imperfect men did the writing. Brigham Young, (our American Moses) explained that he didn’t believe that anything that comes through the hands of men can approach God’s perfection—hence we see through a glass darkly. It goes back to my original comment that you’re mistaken in concluding that the purpose of the Bible is to explain doctrine.

    “Now, back to the Mormon Radar. Would you be willing to swear on a stack of BOM's that the Mormon Church, or at a minimum, a group of Mormons encouraged and condoned by the Church, do NOT monitor the internet for comments critical of Mormonism?”

    Except for the fact that Mormons are forbidden from swearing on anything (“Swear not at all,” Matt. 5 and 3 Nephi 12) when I go to court, I prefer to affirm. I am certainly not aware of a “group of Mormons,” encouraged and condoned by the Church that monitors the internet for comments critical of Mormonism. Not being aware of any, I’d be hard pressed to affirm the negative, simply because I don’t know. All I know is that I’m not part of any such group and I know of no such group. I suspect that if there were such a group, I might have been invited by now to join it.

    How did I find your post? A couple of years ago, you could do a google search for specific words on blogs and limit the time frame to 24 hours, a week, or a month or a year. I saved that as a link that’s on my tool bar. Occasionally, I’ll hit that button and have it search for instances of the word “Mormon” posted on blogs over the past 24 hours. Yesterday, yours came up in the list of about 40 sites.

    No, I’m not a regular reader of agnostic sites. I am an occasional reader of anti-Mormon sites because I find they’re very entertaining.

    No, I’m not having second thoughts about Joseph Smith’s story or his prophetic ministry. There are very few things in life that I believe are as valid or as edifying.

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  9. I don't believe you Alma. I thinking you're fibbing. I don't believe for a second that you check out sites that criticize Mormonism for “entertainment”. I think you do it for image control of your supernatural belief system.

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  10. From the Washington Post, August 17, 2011:

    The Mormons, however, are leaving nothing to chance. They have always stood apart in the religious world when it comes to marketing. Savvy and aggressive, they were among the first to have a public relations shop, run public-service announcements and have a 1-800 number. The church at one time changed its logo to highlight the words “Jesus Christ,” then shifted to “Mormon” and even tried to trademark the word once it became better known.

    It’s not only the official church group that’s got PR chops. This month, an independent Mormon group launched the Mormon Defense League to monitor reporting on the church. The group threatened to confront writers who it believes misrepresent the church.

    The Web has boosted the small, American-born faith — but also challenged it, with critics and passionate ex-Mormons competing with church officialdom when the curious head to their search engines.

    Image experts and researchers who study how people search the Web have been impressed by the church’s powerful use of the Internet. The site lds.org is the most-visited of any faith group, and Mormon church-wide conferences sometimes rank at the top of Twitter while they’re underway.

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  11. This is the first I've ever heard of it. No, Senator, I have never been associated with that group. But I am very much entertained by the arguments of anti-Mormonism. Check out a book review I provided several years ago: Google it under “Coin of the Realm” and my name. It should show up.

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