This series is an overview of the approach I outline in my book, “Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer” (a dialogue between a Christian proselytizer and a Socratic skeptic).
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Link to eBook:
Link to free PDF excerpt:
An overview of whole series:
1 of 7: a brief overview of videos 2 through 7.
2 of 7: a description of the Socratic Method.
3 of 7: the ground premises that the skeptic needs to establish with the Christian in order to focus on the issue at hand, which is “Are there convincing reasons for me to believe that the Judeo-Christian Bible is the Word of God?”
4 of 7: the skeptic and the Christian read through scriptures and stories from non-Christian religions. Both agree that the following three characteristics are strong clues that a religion was not created by an Infallible Wisdom, but just made up by quite fallible humans: (1) when a religion a cluelessness about the layout of the universe (its stories describe stars as tiny, the moon as a light, the earth as flat, the sun as orbiting our planet, etc.) (2) it contains laws that are barbaric and reflect senseless prejudices (3) history reveals that the religion was pieced together from ideas and stories from pre-existing religions
5 of 7: the skeptic and the Christian read through the Judeo-Christian Bible, and examine it by the same critical light just held up to non-Christian religions.
5.1 through 5.5: Further details on the origins of the Judeo-Christian bible–how many of its ideas & stories can be found in religions that pre-date the bible by centuries.
5.1 explains why many of the baffling details within the tale of Noah & the Ark make sense once the story is read as a monotheistic version (in which God is said to be Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Benevolent) of a story that was originally polytheistic (in which the gods were none of the above).
5.2 discusses the pre-Christian religious stories from the Greeks, Romans, and Zoroastrians about unions between gods & mortals, miraculous virgin births, and offspring that were both human and god. It also covers the “Satanic pre-plagiarization” explanations from early Church Fathers Justin Martyr and Tertullian on how the pagans knew about these phenomena centuries before the time of Jesus.
5.3: Richard Dawkins refers to the Christian premises behind the belief that Jesus/God sacrificed Himself to appease Himself as “barking mad.” This video looks at each of those premises–Divine Anger, the need for sacrifice, the use of a scapegoat–from the perspective of comparative mythology. The subtitle for this video is “Richard Dawkins meets Joseph Campbell.”
5.4: the evolution of the afterlife. Stage One – the 37 out of 39 Old Testament books that either don’t mention, or even deny, an afterlife. Stage Two – the 2 Old Testament books that say there IS an afterlife. Stage Three – The New Testament, in which the afterlife, complete with Judgment Day & Heaven & Hell, becomes one of Christianity’s main selling points.
5.5: A discussion of the evidence that Christianity’s “Satan” comes more from pagan religions than Judaism.
6 of 7: a review of some of the common counterarguments from Christian apologists
7 of 7: why I find the Christian apologist’s answers unconvincing.
“An abbreviated version of using the Socratic Method with Christian Proselytizers”:
“Three advantages to questioning ‘the Creator’s Word’ but not ‘a Creator’ (when speaking w/ theists)”:
“When science contradicts Scripture: how theists cope”:
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My three YouTube channels:
– – my musician channel
– – where I discuss the ideas in “Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer”
– – where I discuss the ideas in my book “Hunting, Gathering, & Videogames” (such as “Why do we have to work?” and “Why do we have to use money?” and “How should we define ‘success’?”)