ATHEIST LOGIC - Marcus Mergett case study
It is utterly amazing how many atheists boast of using logic yet have no formal training in logic and have arguments that are quite illogical.
Marcus Mergett (using a clown face for his Facebook profile) is a case in point. Quoting his own words from Facebook on 24/1/2014:
Anyone who claims to be a scholar of the bible is the scholar of a fictional fairy tale book full of murder, rape, genocide, misogyny etc.... no history classes use it as material..... atheism is the ability to think logically and look at evidence with a skeptical eye.
He then posted the first paragraphs of an article by Dr Joel Hoffman in the Huffington Post without attribution thus leaving readers to think that he had written the text himself. Marcus Mergett stated that no church ever mentioned such things. He is absolutely incorrect. Many liberal churches do say exactly the same as Joel Hoffman. See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-joel-hoffman/the-bible-isnt-history_b_2803409.html This is worth quoting at length ....
One way to understand the difference between history and fiction in the Bible is through the Old Testament's natural division into three parts:
Sometimes 'believing the Bible' means believing that a story in it didn't happen.
The world and its nature (Adam to Terah).
The Israelites and their purpose (Abraham to Moses).
The Kingdom of Israel and life in Jerusalem (roughly from King David onward).
Even a cursory look reveals a clear and significant pattern. In the first section, characters live many hundreds of years, and in the second, well into their second century. Only in the third section do biblical figures tend to live biologically reasonable lives.
For example, Adam, in the first section, lives to the symbolic age of 930, and Noah lives even twenty years longer than that. Abraham, from the second section, lives to be 175, his son Issac to 180, and Jacob "dies young" at the age of 147. But the lifespans from King David onward, in the third section, are in line with generally accepted human biology. ...
Marcus Mergett quoted the above paragraphs to prove that the bible was a complete work of fiction and unrelated to history. Marcus failed to either read or comprehend the next part of the article which contradicts everything that Marcus previously stated. I quote again (captials for emphasis):
... Furthermore, HISTORIANS mostly agree that only the third section represents actual HISTORY. ... HISTORY and fiction mingle throughout the Old Testament ... Jeremiah's HISTORICAL description of the siege on Jerusalem is not the same as Ezekiel's non-historical vision of the dry bones, just as there are HISTORICAL elements (like the invention of fire-hardened bricks) even in the non-historical account of the Tower of Babel. ... The New Testament similarly offers more than just stories, and, as with the Old Testament, only some of the stories in the New Testament were meant as HISTORY. Others were intended to convey things like theology and morality. ...
Marcus Mergett fails in logic on all the points he mentioned:
1. "The bible is a fictional fairy tale."
Incorrect. The bible is a collection of books by different authors and at different times that has been edited. It contains some history.
2. "No history classes use the bible as material."
Incorrect. Many universities use the bible as source material for the history of ancient Israel.
3. "Atheism is the ability to think logically and look at evidence with a skeptical eye."
Incorrect. One does not automatically become logical by being an atheist. Nor does logic automatically lead to atheism. "The ability to think logically and look at evidence with a skeptical eye" is the domain of philosophy and not atheism.