Sunday, April 5, 2009
Pat Condell and NonStampCollector youtubes
Since I started this "atheists on youtube" shtick I'm going to finish it. So, here are some Pat Condell and NonStampCollector youtube videos that were recommended to me:
The two videos above are thematically linked. Pat Condell talks about what a murderous bastard the God of the Old Testament was and NonStampCollector gives you some Bible verses where that violence happens, and they did all that without bothering to mention Numbers, Chapter 31, which was about how the Midians are killed, all of them except the virgin girls.
On God's instructions, Moses sent soldiers against the Midianites in response to some of the Israelite men having had sex with some of the Midianite women. Moses then ordered them to slaughter all the captives, saving only female virgins. The latter were apparently kept for purposes of rape. Verse 35 talks about 32,000 virgin captives; this implies that there were probably about 32,000 young boys killed (but I don't think fundy Christians would give it that interpretation).
Ah yes, the obscure art of Biblical interpretation. The Bible, like a person, will say anything you want if you torture it enough. Christians can pretty much dump all the bloody Old Testament insanity by saying Jesus changed the game plan, but it's hard to get around some of the things Jesus said, as NonStampCollector points out. If you really want to be saved you're supposed to give all you have to the poor and follow Jesus. Lucky for Christians Jesus isn't around any more. These days they only have to tithe ten percent of their income (not all) and from the looks of things a lot of that money goes into the local churches and salaries for local functionaries. Then they send missionaries, saving souls being more important than saving lives, and then finally a bit of money does wind up in the hands of the poor, and yet, amazingly, in a world where 2.1 billion people are Christian, the largest religion on the planet, we still have a huge problem with poverty. All that economic power seems surprisingly ineffective.
When it comes to those New Testament verses about wives submitting to husbands, commands about hair length, and verses condemning homosexuality, liberal Christians will find another way of translating the original Greek. For example, some have claimed that Paul doesn't really condemn homosexuality, because in the original Greek he's really only talking about pederasty. Yet other Greek-reading Bible scholars will say they are just twisting an ancient text to fit modern values. If you can choose any passage that says one thing and say it means the opposite by backing up your reasoning with a Greek lexicon then how badly was the Bible translated the first time?
I usually like most of what Pat Condell has to say, and for the most part I agree with it. However, in the above video I think Condell is being a bit too optimistic. The polls don't show any big shift away from religion.
Style-wise the above videos sound angry, irritated and ranty. I suspect that turns a lot of people off, and those would be the ones who most need to get his message. I wonder what he's really after. Is he out to change the world, or is he just trying to get an atheist audience to buy DVDs and tickets to his comedy shows?
Maybe all the religious bullshit is getting to him as it’s starting to get to anyone with an ounce of common sense in them.
I guess my little dig about the response to my request for atheist youtube videos being pathetic must have motivated J Random Atheist to come up with a great youtube atheist I'd not yet heard of, ZOMGitsCriss. She's playboy bunny hot and she's funny and creative:
And for those who have suggested Edward Current, well, you haven't been reading my blog, I've got his youtubes embedded already, see "Pretending to think like Ray Comfort."
As for ThunderFoot, I'll get to him later. I haven't decided yet what to say, nor have I made it through enough of his videos yet.