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From the Mailbag I read your piece on why Saul died, In the real world of atoms and The problem with equal and infi- and it reminded me of the inconsistency energy, and that includes Bible apologet-nite gods of good and evil is that they of the Bible as to just who killed Saul. ics, error is always a matter of probabili-can only exist in eternal stalemate. They [1] Was it the LORD? Saul "enquired ty. To say that a book is erroneous is to neutralize each other. Also, the good not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, say that it is erroneous beyond any god is a lousy fighter. He cannot fight and turned the kingdom unto David the reasonable doubt. Once it has been the war in heaven because he cannot do son of Jesse" (1 Chron. 10:14, KJV). [2] shown that the case for error is much harm to his enemies. Was it the Philistine archers? "And the stronger than the case for no error, then To overcome this problem, the battle went sore against Saul, and the one might rightly claim an error. The Jewish worshipers of Jehovah made archers hit him; and he was sore wound-rational mind will accept that, even as it Jehovah a mixture of good and evil. ed of the archers" (1 Sam. 31:3; 1 Chron. provisionally accepts the existence of the Jehovah punishes. He kills. He lies and 10:3). [3] Was it suicide? Saul begged his earth, but will always be open to new deceives his enemies and his friends. armor-bearer to kill him, but he would-evidence. Meanwhile, it does not cling There is nothing so vile that Jehovah n't. "Therefore Saul took a sword, and to mere possibility with the idea that would not do it or allow it, and nothing fell upon it" (1 Sam. 31:4-5; 1 Chron. someday, somehow, vindication will be so good and perfect that Jehovah would 10:4-5). [4] Was it a young Amalekite? had. If a book cannot be defended on not give it as a gift to his children. The A young Amalekite man happened by the basis of what is probable, then it mixture of good and evil in God con- and Saul begged him to "[s]tand, I pray cannot be rationally defended, period. founds the Jews and Christians to this thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish Anyone venturing beyond that point day. is come upon me, because my life is yet enters the realm of wishful thinking and The absurdity of such an object of whole in me." [The Amalekite told fanaticism. (I will leave it to Mr. Till to worship is clear. Like the gods of light David], "So I stood upon him, and slew provide the customary rejoinder to Mr. and darkness of Zoroaster, the two sides him, because I was sure that he could Moffitt's exercise in wishful thinking.)of schizophrenic, split-personality Jeho- not live after that he was fallen" (2 Sam. In closing, I find Mr. Moffitt's god vah and the Trinity neutralize each 1:8-10). (small "g" as befitting an inferior concept other. The good and evil in the universe Again we have a situation where all of God) reprehensible. Any good teach-come from no god, from imaginary gods, versions cannot be right, but they can all er will go out of her way to help a sin-or the one being who can only exist be wrong! cere, failing student; she will clear away forever in stalemate. This means that (From Fred Acquistapace, the obstacles to his learning. Mr. Mof-such a being cannot act in either direc- author of Miracles That Never fitt's god, however, not only ignores the tion, and effectively cannot exist If the Were, Eye-Opener Books, P. O. student but blinds him as well!being does exist, his (their) wheels Box 1531, Santa Rosa, CA (From Dave E. Matson, continue to spin, unnoticed, for all 95402). whose address appears after his eternity. article on page 13 in this issue.) The Christian New Testament is ********** faced with this hellish problem and tries ********** to invent a limited, finite Satan or devil, It's a fool's errand to fool around but the devil does not fly either. First of with a foolish passage from a discredited On the matter of absurdity, I've all, a weak, limited devil cannot create or book in order to prove someone a fool. always compared Jehovah to the gods of co-create with God. No Christian is nuts That neither fools the skeptic nor makes Zoroaster, who lived around 2,600 years enough to claim that the devil has a fool of him. Thus, we may answer ago. He had two gods, Ormuzd or enough power to create the evil half of Liddell's short letter. Ahura Mazda, the god of light, and the universe--including tigers, snakes, As for Mr. Moffitt, I'm delighted Ahriman, the god of darkness. The mosquitoes, and the firmament itself. that his heart is neither wicked nor Jewish people encountered Zoroastrian No, it is God who created it all, creeping rebellious, thus making him privy to the ideas in the Babylonian captivity. and crawling insects included, and "saw inner secrets of the Bible. Breathlessly I Abraham came from Ur of the Chal-that it was good." So the devil, bad as he read on, hoping to catch the deep pearls dees, the hotbed of Magi magic, astrolo-is, is just another creature who can be of wisdom which surely must fall from gy, and Zoroastrianism. The "wise men" zapped by God just like humans and such lips. No doubt, I would learn things or Magi reportedly saw Jesus in their man-eating wolves. The devil created that had eluded those worldly Bible horoscopes and came to see him. nothing: his creator created the whole scholars for centuries! But alas! Mr. Following Jesus' "star," they very well works. Moffitt uses the same old tired crutch so might have believed in the gods of And since Jehovah and the Trinity necessary to all wishful thinking.darkness and light. cannot zap the devil because they are Mr. Moffitt demands that the Modern Zoroastrians are known as tied-together bundles of goodness and skeptic prove biblical errors with 100% Parsees. They follow the war in heaven evil, the devil does as he pleases. In this certainty or renounce the claim of bibli-and earth via astrology, and worship the picture, the universe would be entirely cal error. Such a proof, of course, cannot sacred fire, which has the light of the evil under the devil. This is absurd, be had outside of formal systems of good god, as well as the god's heat. The because even Christians admit there is logic, such as mathematics. Let me heat of the fire and the sun is the life of much beauty and goodness in the uni- make clear the unfairness of such a the god of light, like human body heat.verse. Therefore, neither a mixed good requirement. I challenge any reader to Like the Jews, the Zoroastrians and evil being nor even the devil can be prove, with 100% certainty, that the have clean and unclean animals. The detected in the universe. earth exists! However clever your reply, good clean animals, like cows and sheep, (From Frank Mack, P. O. I can counter with logically possible were created by the god of light. They Box 3012, Chicago, IL 60654.) alternatives which you can't disprove. do not kill, and they eat plants to live. Should we adjust our lives to the pos-The bad unclean animals, like wolves ********** sibility that the earth might not exist? and tigers, were created by the bad god Of course not! of darkness. They kill and eat people I [have] gathered a list of gospel and animals alive! passages that are not found in the oldest Page Fourteen The Skeptical Review extant manuscripts. This list is based only on footnotes, deletions, and brack- eting of the passages in the five post-tation to you to speak in our area, should them on to the Spokane chapter KJV bibles (who'd have thought the you be in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. of F.F.R.F. We think that the more militant the atheist you become, There are several active groups of Bible inerrancy position took a the more bibles you buy!). I've bought freethinkers in the metro area. There is trouncing in this debate, so we both the RSV and NASV since I wrote an active atheist group, humanist group, want as many people as possible last.... a skeptics group and a growing group of to see how weak the evidence is Part of what led me in this direc-atheists at the University of Minnesota. for the prophecy-fulfillment ar- tion, I think, was the lack of recognition I am program chairman for the Human-gument that bibliolaters so fre- from the crowd in Portland to your ist Association of Minneapolis/St. Paul. quently resort to in trying to de- dismissal of the Josephus citation as an Our groups often set up joint meetings fend Bible inerrancy. The tapes insert. The term just didn't register with when nationally known speakers come to are still available on two-week most of the people there. And I was town. Dan Barker of the Freedom From loan for $2 to cover cost of pack- rather surprised when I developed my Religion Foundation will be speaking at aging and mailing. list of gospel inserts to find so many of a joint meeting in November. Last year the most famous and most often quoted Tim Madigan, of Free Inquiry, came to ********** passages on the list. speak at the university meeting, which all Well, hopefully, I'll have something groups helped with. One member of our From a few perusals of the articles worth showing to you on that before too group has also started a freethinker in your newsletter, we feel that you are long. I've also started working up a BBS, the Freethought Thinktank.not at all interested in the veracity of the rebuttal to Moffitt's rebuttal of your Thank you again for your publica-word of God in the Bible. We certainly "Dead Man" article, focusing on the tion and your tireless pursuit of the feel that the Bible is the word of God "good hearts" slur he throws on us from truth. and your letters are the words of men. Luke 8:15.... (From Scott Lohman, 3822 As Roman Catholics, however, we Congratulations on the new printer Aldrich Avenue N, Minneapolis, do believe that just as Jesus, the Savior, and format. It looks great. MN 55412.) commissioned 12 apostles to carry on his (From Earle C. Beach, 13203 message to all the earth, he also has Tamayo Drive, Austin, TX Editor's Note: The freethought apostles today in the name of Popes and 78729- 7403.) movement must be alive and well Bishops and they are responsible for in Minneapolis. TSR has more promoting the message today. Bible ********** subscribers in the greater Min-interpretation is not for individuals but is neapolis region than any other subject to Church teachings. Most of The New format with laser print urban area. The invitation to the known world believes in the Bible looks great! I continue to excerpt from speak was accepted with the and that it is the word of God. Why TSR your articles (with full credit given) explanation that it would give my would you want to destroy that belief? for BBS posting where Bible inerrancy is wife and me the opportunity to Please do not send us anymore [sic] discussed. With excellent results over visit our daughter, who lives in criticism of the Bible. We really believe all, I am happy to report. Minneapolis. that the message of Scripture and Christ (From Frank Lovell, Jr., 1907 will save the world. Deer Park Avenue, Louisville, ********** (From Stu & Judy Locklin, KY 40205.) 2026 North 3372 Road, Ottawa, I think your publication is worth a IL 61350.) Editor's Note: We knew that lot more than $4. I would love to get a many subscribers were feeding loan copy of the Dobbs-Till Debate. Editor's Note: To comment on our materials into computer bul-After I view the tape, I would like to everything that is wrong with the letin boards, because we receive forward it to the Spokane, Washington, thinking in this letter would many inquiries and subscription F.F.R.F. [Freedom From Religion require a special edition of TSR. requests in response to things Foundation], and they can get it back to The Locklins were added to the that were seen in BBS. Those you.... mailing list because they wrote a who wish to post TSR articles or If all the readers who appreciate letter to the Ottawa newspaper excerpts may do so without ask-you were to send a letter, I think you about the activities of The Free- ing permission. We would appre-would be deluged. dom From Religion Foundation ciate receiving credit to assist us (From Leonard Reitz, 3660 (in which I was involved) during in establishing new contacts.Ninth Drive, Baker City, OR the controversy over the display 97814.) of religious paintings on public ********** property. Their letter communi- Editor's Note: I do, in fact, re-cates not just an appalling igno- I want to thank you for your excel-ceive many letters. I regret that I rance of basic facts about reli- lent publication. I have enjoyed the don't always have the time to gion but also the reason for their year's worth of my introductory subscrip-answer all of them, so I will take ignorance. They see no need to tion and am renewing it with great en-this opportunity to say that even inquire and investigate. They are thusiasm. I have made the check for $10 if you don't receive a response, I perfectly willing to let popes and for a one-year subscription. I know that appreciate receiving your reac-bishops think for them. How this is way over your rate. Please use it tions to the paper. backward would the world be if to help new freethinkers, like the woman Needless to say, the tapes everyone had this attitude? in your lead article Autumn 1993....were sent to Mr. Reitz, and I would also like to extend an invipermission was granted to send The Skeptical Review Page Fifteen

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