A letter to a faithful member of the church and a literalist of the Bible,
As Paine fueled the fire that freed the bodies of Americans from the British, he also freed the minds of Americans from Christianity. And as Abolitionists freed bodies, Ingersoll freed minds. Glorious times, glorious people, glorious ideas.
It is clear, in my mind, that not only is the Bible a tremendously foolish document, but it is outrightly dogmatic, contradicting, and corrupt of any moral value. Yes, the Bible has been disproven in more ways than one: the Biblical story of creation (disproven by Evolution), the near 300 contradictions (see here: http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/ ), the tales of women from rib bones and world floods, have all been criticized and disproven. Moreover, the opinion of the majority, especially the majority who holds the debunking as false in its attempt and conclusion, is irrelevant to whether or not the debunking proved successful. Paine, Bradlaugh, Ingersoll, and McCabe were these fighters for Freethought, working for intellectual liberty. Allow me to systematically point out the errors of the Bible, and in particular, allow me to criticize the Genesis account of origins.
God made "light" on the first day (Genesis 1:3), but then made the Sun and stars later (Genesis 1:16). The light, as we know it, comes from the chemical and atomic reactions of Hydrogen and Helium in the Sun. These chemical and atomic reactions cause energy to come out of the Sun in the form of light. God cannot create light and then create the sun a day later. They are intrinsically one and the same thing. One may argue that God created the concept of light, but then God should have taken a day to invent the concept of sky and ground before physically bringing them into existence, as well as the concepts of vegetation, the birds and the fish, and the land creatures. However, light should not need to be created if God will eventually create the Sun days later. And if light exists without the Sun, then the creation of the moon, the Sun, and the stars is completely unnecessary. Even if God did create the concept of light on the first day, would it not seem logical to then build the concept of light - the Sun and the stars - the day after, instead of then creating the sky and the ground, the vegetation, and then the concept of light? Assumingly, why would God even need to create the concept of light? After all, according to Isaiah 46:10, God knows all. If this is true, then God would already have the knowledge of the concept of light, and therefore the invention of the idea or concept of light, would be completely unnecessary.
Genesis does not note the days of creation in the form of saying: "On the first day," or "On the second day," etc.. The form by which the Bible claims the days of creation is by stating, "And there was evening, and there was morning -- the first day," etc.. However, on the first day, God created light (Genesis 1:5). It goes on to say, "And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day." To say that there was morning and evening is to denote the location of the Sun and its rays. In the morning, the Sun is low and in the evening, the Sun is also low. To say morning or evening is to denote the location of the Sun. However, the Sun did not exist at that period of time. The Sun was created on the fourth day (Genesis 1:16). There was no existing Sun to denote any morning or evening on the first day. Also, the second day when God separated sky and Earth, it still claimed the morning and evening without the existence of the Sun (Genesis 1:8). The same problem holds true on the third day, as well (Genesis 1:13). A morning and evening cannot exist without a Sun.
On the third day, God created vegetation (Genesis 1:12). Plants contain a chemical known as chlorophyll that turns sunlight into energy. However, the Sun was created on the fourth day (Genesis 1:16), after the creation on plants. Plants, who need light to survive, existed without the creation of the Sun. Although surely no contradiction, but a discrepancy indeed! Why would any creator create plants first and then the Sun that they need? An intelligent creator would first provide the resource required by plants - the Sun - and then the plants that would have used the Sun. Of course, it's no contradiction, but simply something that is unintelligible.
In Genesis 1:16, God created two great lights within the sky. One rules at night and one rules at day. These two great lights are usually interpreted to mean the Sun and the moon. However, the moon is not a light source in any way. The moon simply reflects the light from the Sun, thus giving the impression that it is a great light, as one would claim of the Sun. However, the fact remains clear: the moon is not a light source, or a "great light."
God says "us" and "we" many times. In Genesis 1:26, God says "us" and "we" when referring to himself. And in Genesis 3:22, again, God refers to himself as "us." Why would a God refer to himself as plural? That's because the Jews, who hold the Old Testament as their holy book, believed in many Gods! Research at www.Britannica.com claims: "There may be some reason to speak of the Old Testament conception of God as monolatry rather than as monotheism, because the existence of other gods is seldom explicitly denied and many times even acknowledged." (Britannica Link Source)
God, according to the first chapter of Genesis, made man and woman (Genesis 1:27) at one time, but according to the second chapter of Genesis, there was a time when man didn't have a suitable helper (Genesis 2:20) and a time when woman was created after the existence of man (Genesis 2:22). These are contradictory versions of the story of creation, and both cannot be correct. In one version, man and woman were created at once in the same day, whereas in the other, man was created, God waited around a while (he let man name all the creatures), and then he created woman.
God created man in the image of himself (Genesis 1:27). Now, this appears to me to be more proof that man created God in his own image, rather than God creating man in his own image. Nevertheless, does this statement in the Bible goes as far as to say that God has nimble body of physical, tangible matter, as does man? Is God composed of blood, bone, and flesh, all of a mortal quality? Insomuch, does God have legs, arms, and torso, as man does? If not, I see no reason to believe that Genesis 1:27 is true, and if it is, then God is surely no God, for he is but a mortal man.
God gave dominion of animals to humans (Genesis 1:28). This, although perhaps something I do not have scientific qualms with, I do have ethical and moral qualms with. In this verse of scripture, is God saying that the existence of all subhumans - although they have emotions equal to humans - is to further the interests of humans? Does it mean that an animal exists only to be the leather on your shoes, the meat between your bread, the target of experiments, the beaten of a strike? Animals, which can feel as much as you and I, are given by God for the abuse, for the torture, and for the consumption of man. This practice still continues today. Just as slavers point to Exodus 21:2-6, 20-21 and Leviticus 25:44-46, one may point to this verse to prove that animals exist only to further the interests of humans. However, just as I deny the divinity of the Bible and its egregious moral code, be it the abuse of fellow humans or animals, I reject all that is immoral in the Bible. As the Bible commands a rape victim to wed her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29), I reject the Bible. As the Bible commands murdering of witches (Exodus 22:18), heretics (Exodus 22:20), and children who curse their parents (Leviticus 20:9), I reject the Bible. And as the Bible allows man to rape, abuse, and kill their fellow kin, their subhuman neighbors, I reject the Bible. I will not participate in the murdering of witches, heretics, or children who curse their parents, and I definitely will not enslave someone, be they human or non-human. And, I definitely will not consume the flesh of my fellow beings, as I will not advance any industry bent on the rape of subhumans, the abuse of animals, the fusion of sentient beings. Your God is a tyrant. If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.
After God went on his orgy of creation, which took six days, on the seventh day he rested (Genesis 2:2, 3). Why would an omnipotent being need to rest? I can see no explanation. After all, God is omnipotent and should not require rest in any manner. In fact, God simply should have snapped his fingers to bring into the perfect world into existence instead of taking the six-day course of creation that he did take. When God rested, though, he defied the laws of logic. A being who cannot get tired nor weak nor sleepy - by his implications of omnipotence - would not need to rest or sleep. However, resting on the seventh day was exactly what God did, something completely unnecessary and in retrospect absolutely ridiculous.
Recapitulation of creation - Creation according to the first chapter of Genesis: On the first day God created light (Genesis 1:5). On the second day God created the sky and the ground (Genesis 1:7). On the third day God created vegetation (Genesis 1:12). On the fourth day God created the sun and the moon (Genesis 1:16). On the fifth day God created birds and fish (Genesis 1:21), and land creatures (Genesis 1:25). On the sixth day God created man (Genesis 1:27). And on the seventh day God rested (Genesis 2:2, 3). Yes, this may be all fine and dandy in theological terms. However, in Genesis 2:4, it says it will provide a summary of the events of creation. The conclusion of the recapitulation was quite egregious. Creation according to the second chapter of Genesis: God first created water (Genesis 2:6). God secondly created man (Genesis 2:7). The error of this should be quite clear. These is a contradiction between the first order of creation and the recapitulation. The summary of creation said after the told creation only includes TWO events of SIX events. Not only that, but it doesn't even organize it into days. A five-year-old child addicted to crack would have better chances of keeping better records than this infallible word of God!
God made man from dust and breathed life into his nostrils (Genesis 2:7). I find it quite ridiculous that a man is made from dust. It may be at least acceptable if man were made from other organic material or Carbon, as life on earth is based on the element of Carbon. In fact, why would God need any resource at all to make a man? If God is truly omnipotent, why not make man with only snapping his fingers? It is simply something of unintelligibility.
The Bible talks about four rivers coming from the one river in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:10). The rivers are the Pishon (Genesis 2:11), Gihon (Genesis 2:13), Tigris (Genesis 2:14), and Euphrates (2:14). Reality is the only thing that disagrees with the Bible. There is no Pishon or Gihon river. The Tigris River starts in Turkey and goes into Iraq, where it finally empties out into the Gulf of Oman. The Euphrates River starts in Turkey and goes through Syria, and then to Iraq where it finally joins the Tigris and empties out into the Gulf of Oman. Of course, the Gihon and Pishon rivers could simply be names for rivers that we today know by other names, but this is not factual, as there are no other rivers within the area of the Tigris and Euphrates. There are no four rivers leading off into the distances. There is actually only one river that breaks off into the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
After God created Adam, Adam had to work the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). I don't see how it could be called paradise if one must work. Furthermore, when Adam sinned and ate from the tree of knowledge, his punishment was: to work gardens outside the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:17)! Adam already had the obligation to work gardens. When God told him he was punished by having to work gardens for sinning, it was ridiculous.
God told Adam not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and that it was wrong to do so (Genesis 2:17). To eat from the Tree of Knowledge gives one knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil (Genesis 3:5). When Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, she had no knowledge of right from wrong. Therefore, when she ate from the Tree of Knowledge, it was like any other action that she had done. There was nothing wrong or right with it. She could not comprehend this, as she had not yet eaten from the Tree of Knowledge, and to know that it is wrong to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, one must have first eaten from the Tree of Knowledge. However, since she had no knowledge of right and wrong, I barely see how God could hold her accountable of her actions. Firstly, God knew Eve would have eaten from the tree when he built her (Isaiah 46:10). He built Eve in the fashion that she would eat from the Tree of Knowledge. God could have built Eve in any fashion, in particular one that would not eat from the Tree of Knowledge. With this in mind, since she was built to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and she did not know that it was right or wrong, I seriously doubt that she should be held accountable for her actions. And she definitely shouldn't have been thrown out of the Garden of Eden for something she didn't know.
God told Adam that if he were to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, he would die (Genesis 2:17). Eve repeats this and says that if you so much as touch the apple, you die (Genesis 3:3). But, surprisingly, Adam did touch it and did not die. Adam and Eve's punishment was not death. They were banished from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:17) and Eve had some extra expenses, too. This was a complete contradiction between what God said would happen and what did happen. One may argue, however, that Adam and Eve did die, but they did so hundreds of years later! Yes, Adam and Eve did eventually die, but their punishment was no punishment, as today everyone dies, too, but humans in this era will be lucky if we lived 100 years and Adam and Eve lived nearly a 1,000 years. They would have died anyway, as well. To live forever, one must eat from the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:22). Adam and Eve had not ever eaten from this tree, therefore they were bound to die anyway. There is a contradiction here. One between what God promised and what God did.
When man had no friend, God allowed him to name all of the animals (Genesis 2:20). It seems relatively respectable, I suppose. However, there are nearly 1,000,000 different species of animals! 751,000 Insects, 123,151 non-insect Anthropoda, 19,056 Fish, 12,200 Flatworms, 12,000 Earthworms, 9,040 Birds, 9,000 Coelenterata (jellyfish, corals, comb jellies), 6,300 Reptilia, 6,100 Echinodermata (starfish, etc.), 5,000 Porifera (sponges), 4,184 Amphibians, and 4,000 Mammals (amounting to 961,031 different species). Let's assume that Adam was pleasured and intrigued by this, by some fetish of his own. If Adam viewed an animal and made up a name for it, with 1 name for each animal once every 10 seconds, then 6 names per minute, then 360 names per hour, and - our hero has to sleep about eight hours a day, doesn't he? - 5,760 per 16 hours/day, then it would take Adam 167 days (rounded up from 166 days and 13 hours) of straight out and out making up words to fit the descriptions of animals. I could not pull off that task, nor would I see any reason why any man would want to. I also find it hard that Adam was the one who gave these creatures their names. According to the family tree in Genesis 5:3-32, Adam lived between 5000 BCE and 4000 BCE, but more likely closer to 4000 BCE. The error with the concept that Adam was the first to name these animals comes from the fact that the Basque and Uralic languages developed and flourished in Scandinavian Europe (especially the Finnish regions) from 23,000 BCE to 8,000 BCE. This was a time period long before the Old Testament was even written. These languages existed long before Adam did, and the speakers of these languages and their ancestors also lived far before God even created Adam. The relevancy of a preexisting language, one prior to Adam naming the animals, goes as far as to say that the animals already had names, and naming them would be unnecessary.
The woman in the story of Genesis was created from the rib bone of man (Genesis 2:22). Some versions of the Bible go as far as to say that the reason God created woman from a rib bone is because he "had no more dust left." This, I cannot comprehend, but such a flaw is limited to only particular versions of the Bible. If God can do anything, then I think it would be logical of him to create woman without doing surgery on Adam. It was completely unnecessary, and I'm sure Adam would have agreed.
The fall of man and sin. They ate from the tree of knowledge (Genesis 2:6) after God had said not to eat from the tree of knowledge (Genesis 2:17), but God knows all (Isaiah 46:10), so not only was the fall of man inevitable, but God had full knowledge of it when he created man. In fact, he could have created Eve so that she was more loyal and that she wouldn't have eaten from the tree of knowledge, or God could have simply not created Satan. Since God created man and woman the way he did, it would be quite a legitimate claim that God PLANNED the fall of man, and that it is in no way the fault of man or woman.
After Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they "discovered" they were naked (why this fact was not so obvious to them before is beyond me). Adam and Eve had made clothes for themselves with fig trees branches that they had sown together (Genesis 3:7), but when God came, they hid because they were naked (Genesis 3:10). Now, this is quite an apparent contradiction. Adam and Eve quickly make clothes for themselves, yet they run from God because they "have no clothes." A contradiction, yes.
When God found Adam after Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge and Adam ran because he was "naked," God asked Adam who told him he was naked (Genesis 3:11). Now, this sentence, "who told you that you were naked?" is completely nonsensical and ridiculous for numerous reasons. What foolish being, man or God, would need to be told that they are naked, and over quite a long period of time, as well? If man was capable of identifying the Tree of Knowledge from which he ate, then why would he be incapable of identifying his own nudity?
The Bible claims that snakes eat dust (Genesis 3:14). This is false scientifically and it should be widely known, even among laymen, that snakes eat organic material, rather than dust.
Later, past the part where it says snakes eat dust, it says that snakes crawl on their bellies (Genesis 3:14). Again, this is another scientific error, as many snakes (most, to my knowledge) do not crawl on their bellies. They live in trees and in water. When a snake crawls through the branches of a tree, it is not crawling on its belly at all. Also, what was the condition of the snake prior to being punished by God? If a snake crawls on its belly now because God punished it, should someone expect me to believe that at one time snakes did not walk on their belly, and that they someone - possibly magically - walked on the tip of their tail as a method of transportation? No snake could walk on the tip of its tail, because there is a bit of a gravity problem. Reality, again, interferes with the teachings of the Bible. Gravity, nor the structure of the snake, would not allow it to walk on the tip of its tail. So, for God to punish the snake by making him crawl on his belly would infer some other form of transportation prior to it. A snake walking on the tip of his tail, though, would be the least illogical situation. Possibly snakes flew or traveled some other magical way. Of course, this is all with consideration to the Bible, and not actual reality.
After the Bible claimed that snakes will eat dust, it claimed that snakes will all strike at the heel of men (Genesis 3:15). Of course, this is more absolute proof that this Bible, so called "word of God," is a mere work of fiction from the extremely inept minds of that time. In the Mediterranean region, especially Egypt and Arabia where the Bible was written, snakes carried poisonous venom that was lethal. That is probably why Satan was formed in the image of snakes. However, this phrase is contradictory to science because of the existence of constrictors. A constrictor, unlike the conventional snake, does not bite at anyone's heels. In fact, a constrictor does not strike at its targets at all. A constrictor wraps itself around its target and suffocates it death to death, only to consume it later. So, not only is this verse a relic of the development of theological knowledge to the Hebrews by materializing Satan as a snake, but it is contradictory to science, as not all snakes bite at the heels of men.
When Adam and Eve sinned by eating from the Tree of Knowledge, God was angered by their actions. They were both banished from the Garden of Eden, but Eve had a bigger punishment. Eve would endure great pains during childbirth and had to serve man (Genesis 3:16). I see these punishments as too great. I see no scientific qualms with them, but only ethical ones. What God also did for Eve's crime was to punish every other woman to suffer these great pains during birth. What reasonable man can say that he was given joy through God when he found out that his mother suffered greatly when giving birth to him? What logical and reasonable to-be mother can consent to receiving extremely horrible pains, because it is what the lord wishes? And what liberationist, what freedom fighter, what revolutionary can declare that women are second to men? None. None at all. If any man is filled with joy and glee at the thought that God wanted to bring tears of pain, screams of anguish, and emotions of suffering to his mother while giving birth for a crime committed by his great, great, great, great, great grandmother, I will say now that this man must have had a horrible mother whom he hated with a fierce vengeance or the man is simply disturbed. And who, with the mind of equality and virtue, can claim that women are inferior? No man of noble character can claim that the mothers of humanity ought to be of less worth, value, or less deserving than any one else. And if one claims so, and they hold the Bible up as their source, it is with a liberating voice and deep emotion for all that woman could attain to be, that I declare this egregious book full of archaic stories and dogmatic sagas unfit for any generation, any being, who wishes to attain a proper understanding of sensate compassion.
God banished Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden to the east, which would be the east of the Tigris River (Genesis 3:24). It also states that there is a cherub wielding a burning sword guarding the Tree of Life. According to the geographical information provided concerning the Tigris River, it would appear that his cherub is doing his sentinel work in Iraq. A cherub is a large, winged celestial being. If this being did exist, and with a burning sword, I think it would be quite easy to identify him. Yet, since no cherub has yet to be found, I seriously doubt he exists or existed. If he were found near the designated area, then I would seriously reconsider my position of Atheism, but since he has not been found at all, I see no reason to give up Atheism.
Cain killed Abel (Genesis 4:8). God asked Cain where Abel was (Genesis 4:9). God found out that Cain had killed Abel and punished him by making it so that he could not farm the ground (Genesis 4:12). Cain thought others would kill him, so God made it that to kill Cain you get a punishment seven times worse (Genesis 4:15). Let me simply compare the consistency of these punishments. If you kill an innocent man, your own brother, as Cain did, the only punishment you get is that you cannot farm the ground (Genesis 4:12). The same thing happened with Lamech, as well, except not in by seven fold, but by seventy seven fold (Genesis 4:24)! However, if you kill a guilty man, such as Cain, you get a punishment seven times worse, which would be a painful death multiplied by seven (Genesis 4:15). Punishment for murdering your brother: you are no longer a farmer. Punishment for murdering a guilty man: you get killed seven times. The punishments given by God are ridiculous and incoherent in their placement.
Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, got married (Genesis 4:17). This statement is ridiculous because there were no other people around! It may have been his sister, as some say, but that leaves the question open: how much important information is left out of the Bible by God? There is no part of the Bible that talks about a sister of Cain's that he could have married. Even so, the Bible says that Adam and Eve had no daughters until after until after the birth of Tubal-Cain (Genesis 4:22, 25). Adam gave birth to Cain (second generation, Genesis 4:1); Cain gave birth to Enoch (third generation, Genesis 4:17); Enoch gave birth to Irad (fourth generation, Genesis 4:18); Irad gave birth to Mehujael (fifth generation, Genesis 4:18); Mehujael gave birth to Methushael (sixth generation, Genesis 4:18); Methushael gave birth to Lamech (seventh generation, Genesis 4:18); and Lamech's wife, Adah, gave birth to Jubal (eighth generation, Genesis 4:21). Not only were there no women for Cain, but there were none for Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, Methushael, or Lamech. Adam did not start having more children (Genesis 5:3). So, people started appearing out of nowhere, and Adam did not have a daughter that Cain could marry, because it was after Cain's great, great, great, great, great grandson that Adam had Seth and then started having more children (Genesis 5:3). Even if Cain married his sister, and if today's humanity is truly based on the Biblical stories, there would be genetic mutations galore! Of course, there may be arguments on this last note. Some say that the genetic tissue was "pure" and therefore would not mutate. Obviously, a course in Genetics is required to set these people straight. Genes aren't "pure or "impure," nor would any action cause them to be so. Genes became mutated with inbred and incestuous mating, which is exactly what should have happened.
Cain built a city (Genesis 4:17). It is odd that any one being could have built a city on his own with no technology whatsoever. Today it would take a construction crew a matter of months to raise one building. In no way, manner, or fashion could Cain have created a city alone without usage of iron works or even bronze works.
Lamech married two women: Adah and Zillah (Genesis 4:19). This would be seem to a dichotomy with the current standing rule of marriage: one partner with only one other partner. I hold that all marriage is foolish. It is a license for sex with only one partner. Do we need licenses that limit us to playing chess with only one other partner? Possibly licenses so that we can talk with only one other partner? Dogmatic and foolish indeed that any action has requirement of a license, especially an action that doesn't cause pain at all, but one that can cause great pleasure.
Jubal was the father of everyone who played the harp and the flute (Genesis 4:21). Adam (first generation) was the father of Cain (second generation Genesis 4:1); Cain was the father of Enoch (third generation, Genesis 4:17); Enoch was the father of Irad (fourth generation, Genesis 4:18); Irad was the father of Mehujael (fifth generation, Genesis 4:18); Mehajael was the father of Methushael (sixth generation, Genesis 4:18); Methushael was the father of Lamech (seventh generation, Genesis 4:18); and Lamech married Adah and Zillah (Genesis 4:19). Adah gave birth to Jubal (eighth generation, Genesis 4:21). Jubal was in the eighth generation of humanity and Adam and Eve were created around 4000 BCE according to Biblical records (Genesis 5:3-32). If the previously noted people had children at around the age of 16 (which would be indicated by the fact that they were all born within a single time period of 130 years according to Genesis 5:3), then the year was 3886 BCE. The error with the fact that Jubal, the father of everyone who played the harp and flute (Genesis 4:21), lived in 3886 BCE is that the flute itself was invented 200 BCE (www.britannica.com) and the harp was invented in 3000 BCE (www.britannica.com). I could not fathom the usage of an uninvented device. In all regards, also, I know many who were not born of Jubal that could still play the harp or the flute.
Tubal-Cain made tools from Bronze and Iron (Genesis 4:22). The Bronze Age, where civilization and humanity were capable of using Bronze as a resource, was from 3000 BCE to 1700 BCE. The Iron Age, where civilization and humanity were capable of using iron as a resource, was from 1200 BCE to 1200 ADE.. Tubal-Cain was the in the 8th generation of humanity, just like his half brother Jubal (see previous paragraph). Like his brother Jubal, Tubal-Cain lived around 3886 BCE. Tubal-Cain could not use Bronze, and definitely not Iron, in 3886, as the Bronze Age was a distance away, and the Iron Age was an even longer distance away. It is also unlikely that the eighth generation of humanity will learn to use the materials that produce the best tools on Earth.
Adam lived 930 years (Genesis 5:5); Seth lived 912 years (Genesis 5:8); Enosh lived 905 years (Genesis 5:11); Kenan lived 910 years (Genesis 5:14); Mahalalel lived 895 years (Genesis 5:17); Jared lived 962 years (Genesis 5:20); Enoch lived 365 years (Genesis 5:23); Methusaleh lived 969 years (Genesis 5:28); and Lamech lived 777 years (Genesis 5:31). These years that these people lived is absolutely ridiculous. In ancient Egypt, the average age that people died at was at 35. The waters were infested with parasites. They put sand in their bread which did damage to their teeth and the rest of their digestive system. It is highly unlikely that these people could have lived to 100, let alone to nearly 1,000!
There are, of course, certain apologetics. However, all apologetics to these words are usually based on perverting the scripture beyond its real meaning. A Christian Theologian could say that a particular verse means something symbolically, but once one verse is molded to mean metaphorically, symbolically, or any form that is not literal, all verses of the Bible could be said to be meant in the same way. For example, if you say that Adam and Eve didn't literally live and that they were a symbol of civilization's grass roots, then would it not also be equally logical to say that God didn't really exist, but he was just a symbol for the dogma and superstition of the people of that time, explaining things (the existence of the Universe, the snakes crawling, pain during pregnancy, the stars, the Sun, etc.) that they could not find out through the science of their time? In fact, I could say that Christ didn't really die on the cross. That was just a symbol for things getting better in the future. Christ didn't really die for your sins. That was just a metaphor to demonstrate the self-centeredness of the people of that time. Heaven, also, is no actual truth. It is symbolic of what we all hope and try to achieve to be. Clearly, once you say one part of the Bible stands as a symbol, nothing stops others from declaring other parts of the Bible as symbols.
There are other objections as well. One may say that God is incomprehensible and that knowledge of this sort with concernment to God is unachievable. However, as I have stated many times, it is ignorant to accept a thesis when you do not understand a thesis. I do not understand how one could reach at the answer of 5 with the problem of '1 + 1', therefore it is highly unlikely I would accept such a proposition. The Bible also goes on to speak much about this God. It says that he came from the heavens and died on the cross for your sins. If we can't understand what God means when he speaks with contradictions, then how can we understand at all what any of it means? Sure, we may understand the given concepts and ideas of particular verses, but when they contradict each other, only then does a theologian say that we cannot understand them, or at least comprehend them properly. We do understand the concepts of these contradictions, though, and that is why we know they are contradictions. If a theologian can say that our given knowledge on contradictory verses is flawed, why may I not say the same of any scriptural knowledge on any verses? Perhaps if we cannot understand why the Bible says snakes eat dust, then perhaps we cannot understand any of the Bible. When a theologian damns me to hell, I could say that he doesn't really understand what the verses really mean when talks about hell. When someone says that Jesus died on the cross for them, I could say that they don't understand what those verses really meant. In fact, to say that we cannot understand the Bible only renders it an unintelligible mess of words that is not fit for even a story. Some have claimed that the Bible is a wonderfully written work of fiction. Anyone who has read the book of Genesis would know that it is a poorly written work of fiction!
A last attempt to save the Bible and parts of it comes from a similar tactic as claiming that particular parts mean metaphorically or symbolically. Often times, parts will be inferred to mean spiritually. For example, when God said that Adam would die from eating from the Tree of Knowledge, perhaps he died spiritually, or perhaps that's what it meant at least. For example, here's that verse again...
Genesis 2:16-17: And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
Clearly, it does not say anywhere that man will die spiritually. What would it look like if it did say spiritually?
Genesis 2:16-17: And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die SPIRITUALLY."
To add "spiritually" to the verse changes it entirely. One may as well change other verses as well. We could change "Jesus died for you," to "Jesus died for you girls." By inserting words here and there, no matter how subtle they are, it doesn't change the original verse and it remains as contradictory as before. And even if Adam's spirit died, or soul, even, do spirits die? Do souls die?
Through the numerous errors, the countless discrepancies with science, and the vast, far flung contradictions, all of which are what comprises the Bible, I can not hold belief that the Bible is good in any light, be it to find scientific, geographical, or moral value; it has none. This God, described with the words of Moses, is a fictional character that was used by high holy men, priests and rabbis, to control the minds of the commoners, as they did not know better. As a slave owner controls his slaves with fear and punishment, religious leaders control their flock of mindless zombies by threatening with hellfire from God. Christianity, the most heinous mental virus that exists, spreads now, infecting and contaminating. People live in fear of hell. A hell they are sent to if they do not believe that by which they cannot understand. And who can blame them for not understanding this mess of a book called the Bible, with its ill-gotten morals and destructive teachings? As one concerned with reasonable ethics, respectable science, and unflawed logic, I can only detest this book and its teachings. Men and women are enslaved with the ideas of Christianity, and it is only with a sledgehammer directed towards their slaver that I wish to free them.