The Wisdom of the Bible


‘You believe that Christianity is an unrivaled source of human goodness. You believe that Jesus taught the virtues of love, compassion, and selflessness better than any teacher who has ever lived. You believe that the Bible is the most profound book ever written and that its contents have stood the test of time so well that it must have been divinely inspired. All of these beliefs are false.

Questions of morality are questions about happiness and suffering. This is why you and I do not have moral obligations toward rocks. To the degree that our actions can affect the experience of other creatures positively or negatively, questions of morality apply. The idea that the Bible is a perfect guide to morality is simply astounding, given the contents of the book.

Admittedly, God’s counsel to parents is straightforward: whenever children get out of line, we should beat them with a rod (Proverbs 13:24,20:30, and 23:13-14). If they are shameless enough to talk back to us, we should kill them (Exodus 21:15, Leviticus 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Mark 7:9-13, and Matthew 15:4-7). We must also stone people to death for heresy, adultery, homosexuality, working on the Sabbath, worshipping graven images, practicing sorcery, and a wide variety of other imaginary crimes.’

Harris. S. 2006. Letter To A Christian Nation p. 5

On “Why Can’t You Keep Your Atheism To Yourself?”


“Because the religious won’t allow me to. Because every time I open up the paper there’s another instance of theocratic encroachment on free society which I won’t put up with – up with which, I will not put!”

Christopher Hitchens

Consubstantiation‏


In Protestant theology, as opposed to transubstantiation, consubstantiation is the dogma that during the sacrament of the Eucharist, the fundamental substance of the body and blood of Christ are merely present alongside the substance of the bread and wine, which remain actually and conveniently present.

Transubstantiation‏


In Roman Catholic theology, during the sacrament of the Eucharist, transubstantiation means the change of the substance of wheat bread and grape wine into the substance of the body and blood of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses conveniently remains as before.

On Interpretations


“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.”

– George Bernard Shaw

Akrasia


Akrasia, occasionally transliterated as acrasia, is the state of acting against one’s better judgement.

The problem goes back at least as far as Plato. Socrates, in Plato’s Protagoras, asks precisely how this is possible:

“If one judges action A to be the best course of action, why would one do anything other than A?”

In the dialogue Protagoras, Socrates attests that akrasia is an illogical moral concept, claiming “No one goes willingly toward the bad” (358d). If a person examines a situation and decides to act in the way he determines to be best, he will actively pursue this action, as the best course is also the good course, i.e. man’s natural goal.

An all-things-considered assessment of the situation will bring full knowledge of a decision’s outcome and worth linked to well-developed principles of the good.

A person, according to Socrates, never chooses to act poorly or against his better judgement; actions that go against what is best are only a product of being ignorant of facts or knowledge of what is best or good.

On a Biblical note, in Matthew 23:25 Jesus uses it to describe hypocritical religious leaders. The Apostle Paul also gives akrasia as a reason for a husband and wife to not deprive each other of sex (I Corinthians 7:5).

Ezekiel 23:18-20


18 So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister.

19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.

20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.

See other: Often Ignored Bible Verses