Atheist Ireland actively encourages people to read the Bible.

The Bible makes many assertions that are scientifically absurd, ethically unjust and it undermines two key cornerstones of the Christian faith: the Ten Commandments and the story of Jesus.

The ten commandments are not a guide for ethical conduct. They are laws for regulating the conduct of one Bronze Age tribe. When you read them in the context of the Bible stories from which they emanate, you find that they are not based on universal values of right and wrong, because they were never intended to apply to all people. They were designed to protect the stability and interests of one Bronze Age tribe, specifically because this tribe was set apart from all other people.

Imagine you have never heard of the Bible, and you are given the 27 books of the New Testament and asked to put them in order. You would probably come close to the order they appear in today: the four Gospels that tell the story of Jesus, then the Book of Acts that tells how the early church developed, then various letters by Paul and others, then the Book of Revelation that tells how the world will end.

If you did this, you would have created a continuous narrative, each book being a chapter, each building on the previous one, to create one grand story. You would also have created a false impression of how and why these books were written. And you would have obscured the sequence in which different writers gradually introduced the various elements of the Jesus legend.

If you read them chronologically, you will see how a human Jewish preacher gradually evolved into being part of a newly-invented Christian God, and how his relationship with this God gradually started earlier and earlier as time went on: from his resurrection in the letters of Paul, to his baptism in the Gospel called Mark, to his conception in the Gospels called Matthew and Luke, to the start of time in the Gospel called John.

16 Comments

  1. Avatar
    John May 16, 2015

    I feel so sorry for deluded atheists. May God forgive you when your time comes and the hate you spread needs to be explained.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Derek June 24, 2015

      Can you point what hate is being spread by atheists by virtue of their atheism please? I cannot think of any but perhaps I am not looking hard enough. I can certainly think of lots and lots of hate spread by religious people by virtue of their religious beliefs.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Allister Graham August 02, 2015

      I feel so sorry for you deluded Christians. I’ll ask the scientists to forgive you when you go on a fanatial rampage, killing all of the highly eduated people in the world and taking us back into the dark ages.

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    Daniel McMullin May 25, 2015

    Hi there, I am seeking some advice fro the atheist community. I my self am an atheist but wanted to no if it were possible to be completley disconnected from the church? I was baptised into the catholic community and am wondering can this be undone? I have a son no whom i will not be baptising for obvious reasons and feel i would be letting him down if i still were. Can this be done?
    Any help greatly appreciated.
    yours etc
    Dan.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Dan May 25, 2015

      Hi there, I am seeking some advice from the atheist community. I my self am an atheist but wanted to no if it were possible to be completley disconnected from the church? I was baptised into the catholic community and am wondering can this be undone? I have a son no whom i will not be baptising for obvious reasons and feel i would be letting him down if i still were. Can this be done?
      Any help greatly appreciated.
      yours etc
      Dan.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        don.keyoatey August 24, 2015

        A deluded man in fancy costume muttered some incantation and sprinkled water over you. Are you assuming that this actually meant something or gave the church some power over you. You can disconnect from the church by not attending -simple as that! Unfortunately we live in a religiously dominated society and at times have to attend baptisms, weddings funerals etc relating to family and friends. We all have to tread a path through the maze of supersticion and nonsence as part of our communities. If you feel the need for a non religious solution to the rites of passage problem you could contact your nearest humanist group who could advise on the services of a celebrant fer namings, weddings funerals etc,

        Reply
  3. Avatar
    Ray July 03, 2015

    Hi, isn’t the belief in Atheism a self defeating argument? I’m all for rational and reasoned debate but if Atheism or materialism to be more accurate, were actually true, then the thoughts we have and the conclusions we reach would simply be the product of mindless haphazard forces irrelevant to truth and void of reason?
    Besides there can be no logical materialistic explanation for the existence of information given all information comes from intelligence!
    Finally I don’t believe in the flying spaghetti monster but neither do I see the need to become or to join an Aflying Spaghetti monster sect?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Derek Walsh July 04, 2015

      “Hi, isn’t the belief in Atheism a self defeating argument?”

      No. It may differ from your conclusion but there’s nothing inherently self-defeating about it.

      “I’m all for rational and reasoned debate but if Atheism or materialism to be more accurate, were actually true, then the thoughts we have and the conclusions we reach would simply be the product of mindless haphazard forces irrelevant to truth and void of reason?”

      That’s an odd assertion. The conclusions we reach are necessarily the products of our minds. If you wish to be reductionist, our minds are themselves made up of components that are not minds and could therefore be described as mindless, although that’s not a very useful way of looking at it. An analogy might be to consider the fact that solid objects are composed of atoms which are mostly empty space, and not solid at all. Nonetheless, solid objects really are solid just as minds really are minds, and are capable of reasoning. This is demonstrably and unarguably true whether or not you posit a particular invisible being with some sort of super mind.

      “Besides there can be no logical materialistic explanation for the existence of information given all information comes from intelligence!”

      Another odd assertion. Imagine a universe with no gods and no people, just rocks. There would be information in such a universe (e.g. the number of rocks) but no minds to use that information.
      Our universe also has information and it has minds that can use that information. The only minds we know of have developed through a long process of evolution; their existence is not in itself proof of the existence of a completely different kind of mind.

      “Finally I don’t believe in the flying spaghetti monster but neither do I see the need to become or to join an Aflying Spaghetti monster sect?”

      Then don’t.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      don keyoatey January 19, 2016

      Atheists do not have “a belief” in atheism. Atheism is absence of belief. Atheism is a belief in the same way that abstinence is a sex position!

      Reply
  4. Avatar
    Sarah January 05, 2016

    Can we not just accept people for their beliefs being non-religious or religious instead of saying you feel sorry for them and that they’re deluded, love your neighbour is God’s word and that is to treat everyone as equals

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    Trevor Ramsey November 30, 2016

    Im sorry but your article above is full of so many misconceptions and half truths, I would find it hard to give it any credence. It is intellectually rather lazy and inherently flawed. Leaving all that aside, one’s world view must answer 4 basic questions..
    Why is there something rather than nothing?
    Where did it all go wrong?
    Is there any hope?
    Where will it all end?

    How would you logically answer those questions?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Derek Walsh December 07, 2016

      Hi Trevor,
      Unfortunately you don’t say which parts were “misconceptions and half truths”. Some might say that such a broad and vague criticism is itself “intellectually rather lazy”. Perhaps if you have some specific concerns, you may like to share them.
      But leaving that aside, let’s look at your “4 basic questions” which you have decided are crucial to any worldview:

      “Why is there something rather than nothing?”

      That’s a very deep question and it’s hard to come up with a wholly satisfactory answer. One answer is that if there was nothing, there wouldn’t be anyone to ask the question, so if there’s any possibility in any possible universe of there being something, then only beings that are in such a universe could be there to ask the question. It’s a bit like the question “Why am I alive?” but on a grander scale.
      While it might be tempting to rush to the default answer of the ignorant: “God did it”, a moment’s thought is sufficient to realise that this just moves the question back to “Why is there a god rather than no god?” Any objections to scientific answers about the universe apply just as much and often more to the hypothesised deity.

      “Where did it all go wrong?”

      That’s a very different sort of question and one that assumes something that is not at all obviously true: namely, that it all went wrong. It’s not clear what you think went wrong, but if you mean something like “why is everything not wonderful all the time?” then the simple answer from a rational perspective is that there is no reason to expect everything to be wonderful. We are products of indifferent forces, and there are very good explanations as to why we suffer and die without having to invent a cosmic battle between invisible beings as many religious people are wont to do.

      “Is there any hope?”

      Again, rather an odd question. There’s loads of hope. Most humans and many non-human animals are capable of feeling hope. Will their hopes be realised? Well, it depends on what they hope for. If you mean: “is the lot of the average human likely to improve over time?” then I would say yes. It has improved greatly to this point, particularly in the last century or so, despite some massive setbacks. While there are huge challenges for the future, nobody is going to save us but ourselves. Ignoring reality and waiting for an invisible saviour to fix everything has always been foolhardy, but now is probably the first time in history that it is endangering the very survival of our species.

      “Where will it all end?”

      With the heat death of the universe. Don’t worry, that will be billions upon billions of years from now, and you and I will be long dead and forgotten by then.

      I’m not sure they’re the four most fundamental questions that you could ask, or that you really gave them a lot of thought. But I hope my answers have helped.

      Reply
  6. Avatar
    Jennifer December 25, 2016

    OMF! I am so fucking thrilled to have discovered this side of Ireland!!!!!!! Growing up in Holland, and being only half Irish, I have never wanted to have much to do with Ireland or my Irish side due to… well, every single extremely backwards, stupidifying, offending, human rights violating, censoring, brainwashing, oppressing, intimidating, damaging, corrupting, raping, discriminating, and otherwise harmful/criminal/religious thing about the country, as described on your website as well as Amnesty International’s. I always felt incredibly lonely when visiting, as I had nothing in common with the people around me, even as a child and young teenager. And I felt sad and frustrated for not even being granted the answers to the questions that all of that gave rise to… as if I was the one doing something wrong by asking (a christian concept, as I learnt much later, as an adult). Anyways, Ireland to me has always been a total nightmare and embarrassment, something I just couldn’t relate to as an intelligent young woman from a religionless family in the most progressive country on Earth. BUT… thanks to you, I now have hope that I might one day feel comfortable visiting and no longer ashamed to be half Irish. Congratulations on your amazing and brave work!! Keep it up! Cheering you on from Amsterdam,

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Jennifer December 25, 2016

    PS Two questions. One of them posed earlier, but not answered: Is there an official way of undoing one’s official christian status (baptism)? I myself was never baptised, nor were my father or my friends, as christianity in urban Holland is quite literally on the verge of extinction. But I have, for example, been in a relationship with a foreigner who was baptised and I have met a few Dutchies who were as well (usually to their own disliking). I have always wondered, in case I ever ended up with someone who were (only!) officially a christian again, if there was a way for them to not even officially be so anymore. A previous answer to this question amounted to something like “who cares”. But you have to understand that to some people, the notion of (a person) having the official christian status, is no different from them having the official neo-nazi status. Plan B being to completely ignore that ridiculous shit, but plan A certainly being to officially denounce it. So is there anything one can do to no longer be considered a christian by the christian community/authorities? Thank you!!!

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    Jennifer December 25, 2016

    Last question. As I am not rich, is there anything I can do from here (the Netherlands) beside donations, that may further your cause? I would love to help change Ireland for the better!

    Reply

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