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Thread: Things Religious People Just Made Up: An incomplete list

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    Veteran Member Sarpedon's Avatar
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    Things Religious People Just Made Up: An incomplete list

    This thread is to record our interesting encounters with religious people struggling with theology, fact, and the truth.

    Please note: I don't mean "Everything about religion," when I refer to things people just made up. I don't mean actual scripture, longstanding tradition, the work of respectable theologians, or the consensus of mainstream religious scholars. Even though these things are definitely made up, they have a veneer of respectability to them. I'm referring to when religious people make up things to score points in an argument, or push their own agenda, or just to get attention.

    Here's the first example, and the incident that provoked this thread.

    On sunday I was at the laundromat, and as it often is, the TV there was tuned to this extremely boring and annoying preaching woman. I don't know who she is, I just find her low key batty, in that her delivery is pretty conversational besides the odd interjections of Hallelujah and whatever. But today she was talking about the tower of babel and Nimrod, and happened to throw out the claim that Jerusalem was located at the center of what had been the Garden of Eden. I found this rather shocking, as I had been raised with the scholarly consensus that the Garden of Eden was located at the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, given that one of the rivers flowing out of Eden was identified as 'Flowing Past Ashur.' Jerusalem is notable for not being located some miles from any river. I concluded that this lady made this up to satisfy the Christian/Republican obsession with Israel and Jerusalem which so afflicts us.

    Please share your own batty experiences or discuss!

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    I’m curious what Eden or Jerusalem have to do with the Tower of Babel.

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    the JWs came to the door
    pulled out a bible, well a book since they are JWs

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    I once worked with a Young Earth Creationist. When I asked him why it was that if the universe was only 6000 years old, how is it that we can see things which are billions of light years away? His answer was that the speed of light used to be much faster but has been slowing down and his proof for this is that when they first measured the speed of light in the 1700s, they got a slightly different result than they get today. When I mentioned that we have much more accurate measuring instruments today than we did a few centuries ago and perhaps that was the reason for the discrepancy, I was told that this wasn't the case and it was actually due to a change in the speed.

    I then changed tack and asked that given that we have these more accurate measuring instruments now, why is it that we can't see the speed of light slowing down over the course of the decades? His answer was that it stopped slowing down just before we got better at measuring it. At that point, I ended the conversation.

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    Veteran Member Sarpedon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy
    I’m curious what Eden or Jerusalem have to do with the Tower of Babel
    This lady has a rambling preaching style; she throws random 'facts' and other remarks into her main narrative. I think she was trying to set up an 'east vs west' conflict, emphasizing that nimrod led people east, abandoning the righteous place that was eden/jerusalem. It was a fairly complex bit of of sophistry, which she delivered in the folksy way of a grandmother telling a story.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    A creationist was telling me that the Leap Second proved the day was slowing down, proving that Earth ahd to be young. I pointed out that I actually TEACH the Leap Second, process and consequences, and that it has nothing to do with the Earth slowing down. He maintained the truth of his claim.
    So I quoted St. Augustine:
    Often a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances, . . . and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all that we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, lest the unbeliever see only ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn.
    The creationist said that appealing to St. Augustine only proved I was Catholic...

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Early this century, Anthony Flew started to make noises about maybe not being a fully committed atheist anymore. He was starting to feel that he had to accept a deity, probably as a deist. Certainly not a Christain, nor was he on the road to becoming a Christain.

    I'd never heard of Flew, nor his conversion, and cared even less about it all. I assume most of the Faithful knew nothing of Flew until they saw the headline: World's Most Notorious Atheist Converts to Theism!

    First time I heard of him was some Christain posting "Your hero, Flew, has realized the truth and become a Christain! When are you going to follow?"

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    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    The term you're looking for is just-so story (ad hoc fallacy), and in my experience, Muslims and Christians generate new ones at an incredible rate during apologetics discussions.

    Christian: the Bible is the only possible explanation for morals!
    Atheist: that's an argument from ignorance fallacy, and the Bible gives instructions on the right and wrong way to beat your slaves to death.
    Christian: you're taking that Bible passage out of context! When it says slave, it really means employee!
    Atheist: (sarcastic) oh gosh! If that Bible passage offers instructions on how to beat your employees to death, then I was clearly wrong! That Bible passage is obviously moral instead of immoral! Instructions on how to beat your slaves to death would be wrong, but instructions on how to beat your employees to death is perfectly moral! I'm so sorry for getting that wrong!

    I'm sure you guys don't know any atheists who use sarcasm in that way, so I'm sure his anonymity in this increasingly hypothetical conversation is preserved.

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    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    I got into an argument with a Creationist online about Noah's flood. I made the point that it was horrific for Jehovah to drown babies in their cribs. He responded that it was better than just killing the babies' parents because then they would get eaten by wolves.

    <woosh>

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    I got into an argument online about anthropomorphic global warming with a guy before I realized he was a creationist. He wanted me to explain to him how the Earth maintained the relatively constant surface temperatures it does between days and nights. And this is after I was trying to explain to him about greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. I was just thinking: 'dude, the Earth isn't Mercury and so close to the Sun that it ripped apart our atmosphere!'

    I didn't answer though because I had the feeling he was just making stuff up for argument sake as we went along.


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