“Drunk with Blood: God’s Killings in the Bible” – Descriptive, Fascinating, and Eviscerating

“I kill … I wound … I will make mine arrows drunk with blood and my sword shall devour flesh.” Deuteronomy 32:39-42

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The immoral passage above cuts straight to the point. Very often, we atheist find ourselves tangled in debate with theists on the subject of morality; particularly, the moral compass of God. It’s often posited that the Bible is a “good book,” inspired by a moral, timeless entity. In my experience, Christians seem to only be aware of the first few chapters of Genesis, a bit of Exodus, Psalms, the four Gospels, and a few Pauline letters; you know, where all the fuzzy, lovely stuff exists. Unfortunately for them, that isn’t the entirety of the Bible. The religious believe as though they live with the highest of moral esteem, placing the Bible on a pedestal, believed (by them) to be untouchable. But the “good book” they support and cling to is anything but good, and Steve Wells does a wonderful job expressing that fact.

In Drunk with Blood: God’s Killings in the Bible, Mr. Wells (the developer of the Skeptics Annotated Bible website and author of its companion book The Skeptics Annotated Bible) delivers a resourceful and startling guide, taking its readers through the bloodshed found in the Bible; and not just the Bible, but also the Apocrypha (found in the Second Edition). His commentary is witty and thought-provoking; surely so inspiring even the most sincere Christian will think twice before claiming the God of the Bible is good. The scripture I provided above is found on the back cover of his book, wonderfully illuminating the Bible’s vile and atrocious content. I’ve spent many hours investigating the Bible in research for my book and I will admit I found many passages in Wells’ book that escaped my skeptical eye. It’s definitely a testament to the time and effort put forth by Mr. Wells during his years working the Bible over.

So, all-in-all, what does this book offer?

  • 158 instances of slaughter found in the Bible and the Apocrypha
  • Question-inspiring commentary
  • A “Table of God’s Killings” which offers a quick, plainly written “go-to” catalog of death

I’m truly honored to consider Mr. Wells an associate. I’m grateful for the opportunity to read this amazing piece of literature and I hope he continues doing what he does best: eviscerating highly-revered religious texts. This book, including his website, will continue to influence not only me, but a countless number of reason-warriors, to question the Bible for years and decades to come. So, if you find yourself in discussion pertaining to the Bible and God’s so-called “goodness,” you’ll know where to turn to.

Books by Steve Wells:

You can find his website, The Skeptics Annotated Bible, can be found here.

My Writing Process

Recently, Tim Hawken, Australian author of Hellbound and I Am Satan, kindly asked if I would take part in a blog tour. Within this post, I will answer four questions that pertain to my process as an author and writer, as well as some other stuff!

1) What am I working on?

Right now, I’m currently operating as a writer for Atheist Republic, writing for my blog, and  reading and writing reviews for new (and not so new) books of atheism. Getting Improbable into the public-sphere also occupies my time.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Atheism is growing. So as it grows, fresh voices and faces will emerge. I’m one of the youngest published atheist authors, aside from Joshua Kelly and David G. McAfee. I haven’t been an atheist nearly as long as other authors of the same subject, but my book offers a different perspective than most. Though it’s not long, it covers a range of topics. From biology, psychology, and historical research, my book tackles the “God hypothesis” in a quick, concise, and (hopefully) definitive fashion.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Isn’t it obvious?! All joking aside, atheism is the largest untapped minority globally. Atheists do exist and most are frightened to come out; whether it is capital punishment, disownment, a loss of work, a number of issues could keep one from expressing who they are. So by raising my voice, I hope to inspire others in doing the same; to let them know they are not alone is why I do what I do.

4) How does your writing process work?

In the case of my recent book, I began with a simple question: Why do some many believe the Bible and the Koran to be the word of God? After reading and discussing the subject, I felt I had an answer. From there, I formalized an outline, prepared my research, and went to work. I typically work from one chapter to the next, to keep the flow steady. I use the same process when writing blogs (unless it’s a rant, of course).

And that concludes the questions! I’m in the process of lining up a few new bloggers for next week, so stay tuned!

An Excerpt from “Improbable: Is There Any Reason To Believe In God?”

This particular excerpt comes from the afterword of my book; a bit more personal than other excerpts I’ve published. Enjoy!

“Aside from this realizing that the faith-based beliefs were fallacious in nature, it was actually the beauty of reality that intrigued me the most. While watching internet videos I grew an insatiable hunger for discussions between atheists and creationists not because they attacked the idiocy that is religion, but because the science and archeology behind the atheist’s claims being made were much, much more fascinating than anything our archaic ancestors could have imagined. Religious faith requires its adherents to relinquish their ability to freely question – perhaps the most beautiful aspect to who we are as human beings.

            I am not alone in this understanding and as our species continues to learn and grow we’ve slowly digressed from theology. Though most still believe in God, Jesus, or Allah, many more continue to come out of the theistic closet and assert that they may never know that a god – or any gods – may exist, but one cannot seriously and reasonably believe that a god had any part in creating anything. A belief in God is dwindling just as the evidence for his existence continues to hit dead ends on the road to rational thinking. Most of the people exiting from faith are actually quite young. This may mean that once those young adults have children, those children may feel the same about religious faith – creating a chain of events beginning with ridiculous and implausible assumptions and resulting in a rational and mature society because of one simple aspect: facts.

            My wife and I do not have children, and while I cannot wait to have children of my own, I do fear the day that I will. Not because I feel incompetent or unfit as a potential parent, but in how the imposition of religious faith may rest on them. All that I can do is educate my children, in both skepticism and reason. With such knowledge, I would hope they find themselves on their own, self-decided rational path – if the path is a religious one, so be it. I would find it much more wonderful if they chose to worship God because they were rightly convinced rather follow atheism solely because I do. It will also be a wonderful thing to watch how they may interact with the world around them, as they slowly develop the ability to understand the magnificent beauty it truly is.

            I wrote this book for the fence-rider in order to present the truth as we understand today. Along with most atheists, I can recall a time in which such information would have proved beneficial because having doubt in something – particularly religious teaching – is quite normal, and questioning the veracity of religious faith is a common occurrence. What I’ve found interesting, and something that I hope the readers of this book find for themselves, is that I found an internal comfort with reason, something that remained uneasy when attempting to rest on religious faith. I believe that doubting religious faith is normal because there is a part of all of us that remains unconvinced. To that I say one must embrace such doubt, and follow the path upon which it takes one.

            This journey is far from over for me, and I would hope that the reader of my work also finds themself willing to rise above the social normalcy that is religious faith. Life only comes to us once, and we ought to not waste it as many so willingly do. From that, I promise that an open mind and objective perspective will offer nothing but amazement and wonder but only if one takes the chance to accept such a proposition. God could be one thing or another, and before one decides to inspect their own beliefs, they must first ask them selves what “God” actually means for them. Go where ones inquiry may take them and always remember to never give up until a reasonable answer can be reached.”

To purchase Improbable, please visit the “Buy Book” page.

“Baptized Atheist” – Relatable, Captivating, and Precise

71cii8MYwjLA few years ago, I became familiar with the Dogma Debate podcast. I was injured at work which placed me under “light duty.” As a result, I remained stationary for two months with nothing more than a chair, my work, and an iPod. I was getting tired of the music, so I searched for something a bit more engaging. That was when iTunes put me with Dogma Debate. I listened, listened, and listened more. It wasn’t long before I caught up with the (then) current episode. I found the cast at the time (David Smalley, Shayra, and Daniel) to be funny and relatable. This was a bit after David Smalley released the audio version of his book “Baptized Atheist.”

As you may have expected, the audio book was right up my alley. After listening to his book and podcast, I found myself completely submersed in atheism. Of course, I have always been an atheist, but it kicked off into high-gear once I began listening. I was introduced to Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and many others. I immediately read as much as I could on the subject and slowly began to build my atheist library. Soon, I found myself writing (a passion I thought had retired). After blogging for almost a year, I began working on my book “Improbable: Is There Any Reason To Believe In God?” and we all know how that turned out. So I can say, with certainty, that it was the Dogma Debate podcast and others like it, along with “Baptized Atheist,” that got me started on this path. I have an immense amount of gratitude towards David and other atheist activists who helped me find my voice.

I’ve written two reviews for my website, and while I’m making my way through another book now, I thought I’d stop for a moment and mention the book that helped me.

In “Baptized Atheist,” David discusses his deconversion with the audience, one embroiled in reason and logic. I was raised in a similar home as David, and as a child I too was often criticized for asking too many questions. He also picks up on the unreliability of the Bible by citing different inconsistencies we may not have been familiar with. He also touches on the historicity of Jesus and the faulty, misguided “moral” teachings of the Bible – both a heavily debated issue between apologists and atheists – in a precise and thought-provoking way.

All-in-all, this book has the goods and delivers quite eloquently. So eloquently, in fact, that you become submersed in the story-telling way in which it’s presented. David has a wonderful way conveying messages to his audience and he does just that in this book. If you’re looking for a read (or listen) that covers the many facets of faithlessness, then this one is for you. Challenge yourself or find comfort in knowing you aren’t the only one going through what many atheists already have. Read the book, download to the Kindle, or listen to the audio book when you have the chance. You won’t regret.

You can find “Baptized Atheist” on Amazon Books, Amazon Kindle, and Audible.

Listen to Dogma Debate with David Smalley (w/ Rachel Nanon Brown and AronRa) on Wednesday nights at 8 PM Eastern, 7 PM Central.

I also wrote an article last May, in which I included Dogma Debate as one of the Top 5 Atheist Podcasts.

Things to Look Out for When Debating Young-Earth Creationists

As the Creation Museum debate approached, atheists and theists criticized Bill Nye for his decision to debate “Answers in Genesis” CEO Ken Ham. But why is this? The simple answer:

Ken Ham claims that the theory of evolution inadequately describes the growth of Earth’s flora and fauna. Not only does he ignore the massive amount of empirical data supporting the theory, he then goes on to believe that life was created by God in primitive form. From there, he believes, different species (or “kinds”) steadily progressed via “micro-evolution.” This isn’t the end, I’m afraid. He also claims to have a personal relationship with that creator being.

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Most atheists know this is ridiculous. But not every atheist believes people like Ham should be taken seriously. With this post, I do not intend to weigh in on the “Should we debate creationist?” question. That is a matter of choice. Personally, I find it valuable because I’m also a secularist. Battles are being waged in the Southern states of the USA over whether state-funded student textbooks should include Intelligent Design as a legitimate scientific field. Ignoring them won’t make them go away. If we aren’t careful, their beliefs could infect the most vital portion of our society: our children. This isn’t only an American problem, this is a global issue that must be addressed.

So, how should you go about debating a Young-Earth Creationist? YEC’s (young-earth creationists) have no problem telling you why they believe the theory of evolution is flawed. In my experience, most won’t shy away from discussion. But before doing so, understand their position on evolution.

Let’s use the Christian Evangelical Young-Earth Creationist as an example. What strategies and arguments must you be ready to defend against?

  • Sometimes, they will argue that evolution is “only a theory.” Most on the opposite side of creationism often understand the difference between the traditional word and the scientific definition. Politely remind them of the difference. It’s important to point out that in order for the conclusion of a hypothesis to be considered as a theory, an immense amount of research and data must support the claim.
  • They may try to assert the “controversy” claim, meaning that the scientific community is split on the validity of the theory. This isn’t true. It’s incredibly hard to pin down an exact percentage, but it’s generally accepted that almost all working scientists believe it to be fact. Evolution is even the core every biological scientific field. Without a working understanding of evolution, those sciences may have never achieved the success they have.
  • Sometimes they ask for observational data confirming evolution. It exists, but not in the way they are wanting it. They want an example of a change in species, not a change among certain species’. If they ask this question, it will be apparent to you that they simply don’t understand the basic principles of evolution. Point this out and decide where to take the conversation from there. If they wish to continue and ask for observations, cite this example (which is one of my favorites): Italian Wall Lizards were introduced to an island of the coast of Croatia in 1971. 10 lizards were transplanted. In 2008, over 5000 Italian Wall Lizards inhabited the island, all direct descendants of the previous ten. The most interesting part: They had completely different intestinal structures and a larger head with a stronger bite. Natural selection forced the species to change so drastically.
  • Finally, they may use “irreducible complexity” as a valid reason to believe the creation myth. This simply denies evolution by claiming life on Earth is far too complex to have evolved in the way the theory holds. To the average person, this may make sense. But if you look further, it doesn’t. “Everything works and looks so perfect that it must have had a designer!” This is top-down logic and it doesn’t work. The best way to describe this, I’ll quote Douglas Adams from a speech he gave in Cambridge in 1998 – “Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’” It’s unsurprising to find human beings that feel they and the rest of the animate and inanimate mater was particularly created. We evolve and adapt to our surroundings. With the primitive questioning and thinking capabilities of early man, it was only a matter of time before we began to say we were the best and everything was created for us.

Of course, this isn’t the most comprehensive of lists. It’s meant to act as a starter guide, citing many of the most commonly posited arguments for Creationism. If you decide to watch the upcoming debate, pay close attention to Ham’s arguments. Write them down, study the opposition, and better yourself for the next time you find yourself tangling with a Young-Earth Creationist.

“Unstable Ground: Challenging Arguments for Christ’s Existence” now up at Atheist Republic!

My first blog post can be viewed at the Atheist Republic website.

It’s titled:

“Unstable Ground: Challenging Arguments for Christ’s Existence – Christians claim there is good reason to believe Jesus existed, but do their arguments hold up?”

My blogger page can be found here.

I will link further posts to this page.

“Atheist and Secular Debate” – A Website for the Atheist and Freethinker

A few months ago, I became familiar with the wonderful website Atheist and Secular Debate.

It’s quite clear these guys want the best for the movement. Operated by a few of my closest skeptical brethren, it offers an unrelenting supply of resources for the common atheist, agnostic, and freethinker in an open and non-judgmental environment. Many of their resources include:

And the list goes on and on. They’ve helped me a bit in promoting my book and I’m forever grateful for that. My profile can be found in the “People in the Secular World” section, my book can be found in the “Books” section, and a debate that I took part in can be found in the “Moderated Debates” section. Again, it’s wonderful to see the amount of support this website offers. What I’ve found to be the most intriguing is, as an author, it allows the audience to open a direct line of communication between reader and writer (many of the authors listed are fairly new to the game, so the exposure can help immensely).

So visit this website when you can find the time!

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This website was first brought to my attention by my friend Kevin Steward – Great guy, follow him!