The case for Christ: Chapter 1 – Eyewitness Testimonies

‘The case for Christ posts’ are all in relation to a particular book by Lee Strobel, oddly enough entitled ‘The case for Christ’. It’s not often one has the opportunity to read such a well written piece of propaganda. These posts are intended to break down the book chapter by chapter and explain what is wrong either logically or factually in each. By the end of it hopefully readers will be more aware of what to look out for in biased writings.

Before the Interview

Strobel’s first interview is with a fellow named Craig Blomberg. A reputable enough fellow he seems a reasonable choice for an interviewee.

Before Strobel even gets started with the interview he’s already making mistakes. Firstly he places great importance on eyewitness testimony. This is already fraught with danger as we know these kinds of testimonies are often inaccurate. I could dedicate an entire post to how unreliable eyewitness testimony is, so I won’t go into any extra detail here, but just because you have a witness or two doesn’t prove the kinds of extraordinary claims Strobel would like you to believe. It makes even less sence to place such importance on claims made by people over 2,000 years ago, who spoke a different language, who lacked critical thinking education and who’s mental states we can only guess at.

The next big mistake Strobel makes (again before the interview) is to say that

“…eyewitness testimony is just as crucial in investigating historical matters – even the issue of whether Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God”.

The fact of the matter is no amount of eyewitness evidence could ever prove such a thing. Even if we could confirm that everyone in the Gospels is who they say they are, and that the testimonies they have given are accurate we could still not conclude that Jesus was the son of God. It would only prove the man could do amazing things and claimed to be the son of Yahweh. Another explanation is that he could have been the son on Zeus. Or an Alien with superior technology. Or a human, but from the future. The list of alternative explanations goes on. The best we could conclude from eyewitness testimonies is that the man (if he was a man) could do some spectacular things.

Again before the interview, Strobel asks the reader

“…how well would these accounts” (the eyewitness testimonies) “withstand the scrutiny of skeptics?”

At no point does Strobel actually consult a skeptic to answer this question. A sure sign of biased journalism.

Who Wrote the Gospels?

The first answer Strobel gets from Blomberg is

“It’s important to acknowledge that strictly speaking, the gospels are anonymous. But the uniform testimony of the early church was that Matthew…was the author of the first gospel in the New Testament; that John Mark…was the author of the gospel we call Mark; and that Luke…wrote both the gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles”.

I’m not sure I’d go as far to say the Church’s teachings were “uniform” but it is certainly true that the early Church did teach this. What’s important here is not the answer given, but the way Strobel uses this information in later chapters. Right now Blomberg’s answer is ‘We can’t be certain who wrote the Gospels, but the Church believed they knew who the authors were’. Later Strobel creates arguments based on the assumption that the Church was right, completely ignoring the possibility that they may have been wrong. We’ll return to this idea later.

There is in fact strong evidence to suggest the Church was wrong on these facts. Firstly, none of the Gospels name the author. Surely if one of the Apostles wrote a Gospel they’d feel the need to attach their name to it, thus giving it extra credibility as an eyewitness account. But none of them do.

The Gospel of Matthew is written completely in the third person. In reference to Jesus and his disciples it always refers to “they”, not “we”. Even when Jesus calls the disciple Matthew to join him, the text reads “him”, not “me”. Very strange wording, assuming Matthew the Apostle actually wrote it.

The final few verses in John also eliminate the writer as being one of the Apostles. John 21:24 reads

“This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.”

Note the use of “we” here. It is referring to the writer and the reader, in reference to the disciple. This means the writer is differentiating himself from the disciple. The Gospel itself is quite clear that the writer was not one of the disciples.

As for the other two Gospels, Mark and Luke, although there is no strong evidence against the Church tradition (Mark was a follower of the Apostle Peter and Luke was a follower of Paul), there is also no good reason to think any of it is true. Neither Gospel mentions who its author is and all we have to go on is what the Church wants us to believe. But should we trust them?

Should we believe the Church?

Strobel then asks Blomberg whether anyone would have reason to lie about the Gospels authorship. Blomberg reasons that because Luke and Mark weren’t actually disciples, and that because Matthew was most likely the least liked Apostle (being an ex-tax collector) it is unlikely anyone would make this up. It would be far more convincing to attribute these works to actual disciples (or at least likable ones), than to choose these three people. But this isn’t necessarily true. Perhaps the author was especially crafty, and realising this logic deliberately chose some less renowned names to give that extra credibility. Or perhaps by the time the author was writing many of the disciples had already died. Obviously a dead man couldn’t write a book, so it would be much more believable to use a close friend. Blomberg is clearly biased by his own desires and doesn’t want to consider the possibility of deceit.

Finally it needs to be noted that Blomberg finishes this section by stating

“the gospel [John] is obviously based on eyewitness material, as are the other three gospels”.

Not only is this clearly wrong, as two of the gospels attest to, there’s no good reason to think it’s right.

There is one final quote in regards to John’s gospel that is worth noting. Blomberg says:

“For many years the assumption was that John knew everything Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote, and he saw no need to repeat it, so he consciously chose to supplement them. More recently it has been assumed that John is largely independent of the other three gospels, which could account for not only the different choices of material, but also the different perspectives on Jesus”.

The question must be asked, if John is truly one of the disciples, as was Matthew, how can they be independent? For the most part these two were together with Jesus during his ministry. It is very odd that two people would have such radically different views, both on the events of Jesus’ ministry and of Jesus himself.

Early Writings

In the next section Blomberg tries to give specific evidence as to why he believes the gospel writers are who the Church claims they are. He cites Papias, an early Christian writer saying Papias confirms it was Mark, the follower of Peter, who wrote the Gospel. Blomberg says Papias wrote that Mark “made no mistakes” and “did not include any false statement” and that “Matthew had preserved the teachings of Jesus as well.” Blomberg glosses over Papias, which is a mistake as there are several issues with his writings.

Firstly this is an exaggeration on what Papias wrote about Mark. The text actually reads:

“For he was intent on just one purpose: not to leave out anything that he heard or to include any falsehood among them”.

A valiant effort no doubt, but a far cry from his writings being free from error.

It’s also worth mentioning that this just isn’t true. The Gospel of Mark is not terribly long. Surely if Mark has written down everything that Peter had told him the book would be vastly longer.

As for Papias’ writing on Matthew, he doesn’t say where he received his information or when. Papias wrote somewhere between 110-140AD. This is more than enough time for the myth of authorship to build up. Papias writes that

“Matthew composed the sayings in the Hebrew tongue.”

Firstly, there is quite a bit of evidence to suggest all the gospels were originally written in Greek, and secondly, the gospel of Matthew is much more than a composition of sayings. Is Papias even referring to the gospel of Matthew as we know it today?

As a final note, most historians don’t place great importance on Papias’ writings. Although there is no reason to think these specific quotes are incorrect it is well-known that a lot of Papias’ writings are wrong. Unless these writings can be confirmed elsewhere, it is difficult to give them much credibility.

Blomberg then refers to the writings of Irenaeus, which does verify the Church’s teachings of the authorship of the four gospels. The problem is that Irenaeus was writing in ~180AD, more than enough time for the mythical tradition to have built up.

Deliberations:

At the end of each chapter are a series of questions for reflection and further thought. I intend to answer all of these.

1. How have your opinions been influenced by someone’s eyewitness account of an event? What are some factors you routinely use to evaluate whether someone’s story is honest and accurate? How do you think the gospels would stand up to that kind of scrutiny?

We are fortunate enough with the gospels that we have multiple accounts to go off, and not only those found in the Bible. This is truly fantastic, because one thing I would use to evaluate the accuracy of someone’s story would be to compare it with other’s who were there at the same time.

Unfortunately the gospels differ significantly, both in their recording of history and their theological opinions. This is quite forgivable if the authors didn’t know each other or had heard the Jesus story much later in time, but when two of the authors were meant to be followers, and the other two disciples of other followers we should be skeptical.

2. Do you believe that the gospels can have a theological agenda while at the same time being trustworthy in what they report? Why or why not? Do you find Blomberg’s Holocaust analogy helpful in thinking through this issue?

Of course they can. But that doesn’t mean they did. Only sifting through the evidence can really answer that question. Mulling over the theoretical possibilities is a waste of time.

Blomberg’s Holocaust example is no doubt useful in terms of understanding his point, but it doesn’t get us any closer to answering the question of historical reliability.

3. How and why does Blomberg’s description of the early information about Jesus affect your opinion about the reliability of the gospels?

If you were to follow only Blomberg’s descriptions the early information about Jesus would be quite convincing. The problem occurs when you do further reading and discover the alternative opinions on what this early information may mean. It becomes much less compelling.

What I truly find interesting is how early Paul may have been writing. If Blomberg is right that Paul was writing mere years after Jesus death/resurrection, this could be quite compelling. Only further reading will tell for sure.

Deepities

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

There are a lot of sayings out there. Some are genuinely wise, others are merely fluff coated in wise sounding words. Deepities, I believe the word is.

Since becoming a skeptic I’ve become accustomed to analysing these types of quotes at a much deeper level than I used to and sadly I’ve discovered a lot of them fall into the deepities category rather than actual wisdom.

But, it’s always nice when these sound bites do actually show a great deal of wisdom. Even nicer when it comes from someone who a great deal of people admire, as it’s incredibly frustrating when spiritual leaders give dodgy advice and people just suck it up without question.

This sentiment leads us beautifully back to the original quote. It’s a rather common one, so maybe you’ve heard it. This is one from the Buddha. Like all the spiritual leaders over the generations, Buddha had some sayings that were rubbish and would classify as deepities, but what’s great about this particular saying is that it encourages people to disregard dodgy sayings, even if the Buddha himself said it.

‘Believe nothing…unless it agrees with your own reason and…common sense’. Very clever words to live by. Or more to the point, be skeptical with. Far too often I see people accepting things that clearly don’t make sense to them, yet they take it on as wisdom either because it’s part of the larger belief system (whether religious or not) or because it’s easier than questioning it further.

Actually if I’m going to be completely honest I have to admit I really don’t know why people accept these things. It’s something I can’t wrap my head around and therefore can’t understand or sympathise with. Perhaps if some readers accept some of the following examples you could try explaining it to me?

The easiest example to jump to is the phrase “God works in mysterious ways”. Frankly that’s not an answer. It’s a non-answer. Which basically means it’s a statement that sounds good, but adds no new information to the question. ‘Yes I know it’s mysterious, that’s why I asked!’ The main issue I have with this non-answer is that far from going against reason and common sense, it asks you to put both aside and accept things anyway. This should instantly set off alarm bells. If you’re being asked to put your common sense and reason aside there’s a very good chance the actual answer will not fulfill either.

Probably not what the Nicene Council had in mind…

The other example that instantly comes to mind (and forgive me for once again picking on Christianity, it’s just the religion I’m most familiar with) is the concept of the Holy Trinity. Since it’s introduction into Catholic doctrine in C.E. 381 at the Nicene Council, no one has every been able to explain it in a clear and distinct way. The idea that three people/deities can be the same individual whilst maintaining their independence is quite out there. Water/ice/steam has been offered up as a metaphor. An egg, including shell, white and yolk has also be considered. But at the atomic level the former is either water, ice or steam at any given moment, not all three. And the later three components can all exist independent of one another.

I’d prefer not to have this turn into a post about understanding the Holy Trinity (although feel free to go nuts in the comments), as frankly I don’t think anyone does. My point is that despite many great minds trying to puzzle this idea out, no one really has. Certainly not to my satisfaction anyway, and I’d warrant that anyone who really stopped and thought about it would honestly feel the same way. But at that point it often gets palmed off into the previous example of simply being mysterious and not for us to understand…at least not yet.

And this again brings us back to the original quote. If it doesn’t make sense, maybe it’s not that it’s incredibly complicated, or beyond human understanding or supposed to be a mystery. Maybe it just doesn’t make sense?

So I ask you, if you have a believe or opinion or even a piece of information that doesn’t entirely make sense to you, don’t just accept it and put it to one side. Pick it up again and analyse it. Tear it apart and then see if it even can go back together.

For me the big one is ‘something or nothing’. Is it possible our universe could have come from nothing? Or is it possible the universe has always existed in some form or another. I don’t have a good answer, nor does it make a great deal of sense to me. So I don’t believe it. However my journey doesn’t end there, as apparently some people claim they do understand it and I feel it’s my job as an honest thinker to try to find these answers, assuming they exist at all.

– Ignorance is not bliss. Stay inquisitive.

Scripture: Slavery

For some reason slavery has been coming up a lot lately. A complete coincidence based on the reading I’ve been doing and the podcasts I’ve been listening to, but interesting none the less.

Now that’s a happy slave 😉

What made me think it was worth doing a post dedicated to slavery (or more specifically, slavery in the Bible) was a forum post I found over at ‘Evolution Fairytale’. I’ve always thought people either didn’t know about Biblical slavery laws, or that they rejected it because it was Old Testament stuff. Well some of the guys over at this forum have been trying to paint Biblical slavery in a positive light, which was new to me. I thought we could take a look at these claims, compare them to what the Bible says and see what we can learn.

I’m also taking this opportunity to introduce a new segment to the blog, ‘Scripture’. In these posts we’ll explore many of the things different scriptures say and whether or not they’re true, or in this case moral. Naturally most of these posts will be focused on the Bible because Christianity is the religion I’m most familiar with and also the holy scripture I’m currently reading (up to Joshua!). Eventually though I’ll start reading through the Quran, some Buddhist scriptures and anything else I can find, and then we can broaden these ‘Scripture’ posts to look at some other religions.

Let’s start by looking at some of the quotes from the Evolution Fairytale forum.

“I have heard people ignorantly claiming that the Bible supports slavery, as if God Himself condones oppressive, abusive slavery. Slavery is not synonymous with oppression and abuse. In Biblical times, slavery was more like indentured servitude, where people were taken care of (food, clothes, shelter, and still allowed to have families) in exchange for labor instead of getting a salary. So the argument these people are making is ignorant of vital details, particularly what God allows and what He does not allow in the Bible.”

The section I’ve bolded is technically true. Slavery doesn’t immediately mean abuse. Certainly some slaves would have worked for basic necessities such as food and shelter, rather than money and there’s really nothing wrong with that. But what about what the laws say as to what is allowed and not? We’ll return to this in a bit when we open up our Bibles.

“yeah after a few years they could choose if they want to leave or stay with their boss a lot of them choosed stay because they had everything there”

The man with the terrible grammar is right! People could choose to leave after 6 years servitude, and often people chose to stay. But the real question is why they chose to stay. Again, get that Bible ready. We’ll be finding out the why shortly.

“That is true. Still to say that the way the Bible deals with slavery is evil, because it attempts to give guidelines and does not condemn it outright is to say “there can be no mutually beneficial case of slavery, it is all evil”. The conclusion is flawed because it is based on a flawed premise.”

This is absolutely right. Slavery in and of itself isn’t evil. What makes it a bad practice is…well the way it’s practiced.

“So almost like a live-in farm hand”

Wow, this one makes it sound like being a slave was pretty much a good thing! But…was it? Okay, grab your Bibles and let’s find out.

First off here’s a list of the above claims to compare the Bible with.

  1. God does not condone oppressive or abusive slavery.
  2. Slaves were paid in material goods such as clothes, food and shelter instead of a salary.
  3. Slaves could leave after a few years.
  4. Many slaves chose to continue being slaves due to good conditions.
  5. Slaves were essentially treated as farm-hands.

Now, most of the laws of slavery are to be found in the Old Testament, and that’s where we’ll put our focus today. Please note though, that the New Testament also has some details on slavery and not all of it is good. I’d encourage people to do further reading, particularly of the New Testament, but so far I’m still reading the Old and I want to focus on the parts I have personally read.

For those who don’t know, Leviticus and Deuteronomy are really heavy on the law, however we’ll start by turning to Exodus 21:2.  If you don’t have a Bible on you I’d recommend BibleGateway.com, which is where this text is copied from.

“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him.”

Wow, that actually sounds quite reasonable. Hebrew slaves can only serve for six years at a time, and when they leave they can take their wife with them. A later passage in Leviticus (we’ll get to it) says he can also takes his kids with him! It sounds like the guys over at Evolution Fairytale are right, but let’s keep reading.

If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.”

Let’s be honest, this is a bit of a grey area. The owner has paid for the servitude of the woman, so he should still get his monies worth even if the husband leaves, right? The children should probably be set free considering they were never paid for, however this is a time when woman were caretakers, not men, so that’s kind of understandable. Myabe if this were re-written for a modern time the man could take the kids? Let’s keep reading.

This good people, is an awl.

“But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges.[a]He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.”

Ah, and now we get to the crux of the issue. All these laws sound reasonable, but in reality this is blackmail. What do you to with a slave that can go free? Give him a woman so he’ll want to stay. And it’s not like the man can pay for the possession of his wife and kids. He’s been a slave for the past 6 years, he doesn’t have any money.

At this time men could take multiple wives, so just because he became a slave with a wife doesn’t mean the owner couldn’t present him with another. I wouldn’t go as far to say this system was deliberately set up to trap slaves forever, but holding woman and children hostage to blackmail a man into slavery for life, that’s immoral.

The other thing is that the slave is marked by piercing his ear with an awl. This is pretty barbaric, but more to the point isn’t how you should treat a farm-hand. Surely this would have been done to mark the man as a permanent slave, making it impossible for him to run away and start a new life.

Let’s continue reading this passage.

“If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself,[b] he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.”

Okay, let’s go through this line by line.

7: Firstly we now find out that ‘Hebrew slaves’ getting to go free after 6 years isn’t quite accurate. Only the men can. This is a sexual double standard and flies in the face of the claim that slaves were allowed to go free.

8: Often Biblical verses get toned down so not to be too confronting. This makes it difficult to always know what is meant. ‘Pleasing a man’ often means sexual intercourse. In other words this passage is saying the man who bought her has the right to rape her. But on the plus side at least he can’t sell her to foreigners.

9-10: Giving her the rights of a daughter should she marry his son sounds good, and that part of it is good. The bad part of this passage is that once again the woman has no say in this. Verse 10 says she must not be deprived of food, clothing and ‘marital rights’. Marital rights meaning sex.

11: In other words if the husband does NOT rape his slave wife she can go free. Not only is rape accepted, it’s the law.

Beating slaves is cool, just don’t kill them…until next week.

Let’s now jump forward to verse 20.

20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

The natural reaction from many believers is to claim these quotes are being taken out of context. But I ask you, how the fuck can this be taken out of context? You can beat your slaves as long as you don’t kill them. This is indeed abusive and it’s not at all how you treat a farm hand. Or at least, it’s not how we’d treat a farm hand these days. You must also take note of the “after a day or two”. Although it doesn’t explicitly say so, this suggests that if the slave dies after a week the master is not responsible. That’s just sick.

On the plus side if you disfigure a slave the slave can go free. So just make sure those injuries are internal, okay?

26 “An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye. 27 And an owner who knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.

 Then versus 28-32:

28 “If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible. 29 If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death. 30 However, if payment is demanded, the owner may redeem his life by the payment of whatever is demanded. 31 This law also applies if the bull gores a son or daughter. 32 If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels[f] of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull is to be stoned to death.

The bolded bit is the part I want to draw your attention to, but the rest of the passage is included to ensure this isn’t being taken out of context. Quite clearly these slaves weren’t being treated as live in workers. They don’t have the same rights as other workers do.

They really do seem to have something against those cows. Or maybe it was just the golden ones?

On a side note, I can understand killing the bull. We have similar laws these days when dogs attack. But why not eat the bull? That’s good eat’n!

Let’s jump forward now to Leviticus, starting at chapter 25, verse 39:

39 “‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves. 40 They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 Then they and their children are to be released, and they will go back to their own clans and to the property of their ancestors. 42 Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. 43 Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.

39-40: So now we return to some nicer passages. Don’t take your fellow Israelites as slaves, but as hired workers. This means one of two things. Either this verse contradicts the earlier ones, or it means it’s okay to beat your hired workers near to death. I’m actually not sure how to read this, but either way I don’t find it moral.

41: The children are to be released. Again, this might be a contradiction, but more likely this passage just ignores any children that were born as slaves. The master gets to keep them.

43: Don’t be ruthless…however you can beat them to death. Umm…okay?

44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

Okay, so you can’t technically buy an Israeli slave. They have to give themselves to you. But you can buy slaves from other places. These slaves are property, and they’re slaves for life. No release after 6 years for the outsiders.  Again we have this idea of not treating slaves ruthlessly, but considering you can beat them this is hard to gauge.

The next and final passage is a big chunk, but it needs to be read in its entirety.

47 “‘If a foreigner residing among you becomes rich and any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to the foreigner or to a member of the foreigner’s clan, 48 they retain the right of redemption after they have sold themselves. One of their relatives may redeem them: 49 An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in their clan may redeem them. Or if they prosper, they may redeem themselves. 50 They and their buyer are to count the time from the year they sold themselves up to the Year of Jubilee. The price for their release is to be based on the rate paid to a hired worker for that number of years. 51 If many years remain, they must pay for their redemption a larger share of the price paid for them. 52 If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, they are to compute that and pay for their redemption accordingly. 53 They are to be treated as workers hired from year to year; you must see to it that those to whom they owe service do not rule over them ruthlessly.

What’s interesting about this passage is that it says Israeli slaves can be bought back and must be released after the 6 year period. Strangely this does not apply to bought slaves from outside your people. Those slaves are property for life. Historically this makes sense, as there were many clans, all with different laws and trying to impose your laws on them would probably end in bloodshed. But as a decree from an all-knowing, loving deity? How do you justify one law for this group of people and another law for a different group?

So let’s do a quick recap of our 5 points.

1. God does not condone oppressive or abusive slavery.

FALSE. Slaves could be beaten, possibly to death.
2. Slaves were paid in material goods such as clothes, food and shelter instead of a salary.

TRUE. The women were also ‘paid’ by having sex with their masters.
3. Slaves could leave after a few years.

FALSE. This only applied to Israeli males.
4. Many slaves chose to continue being slaves due to good conditions.

FALSE. Certainly some slaves would have stayed due to happy conditions, but many would have been blackmailed into it by keeping their families hostage.
5. Slaves were essentially treated as farm-hands.

FALSE. Slaves could be beaten, sold and raped. I sure hope that’s not how they treated the rest of their workers.

All of these claims are either straight out wrong, or only correct because of missing information. These slaves were most likely not treated fairly or kindly and this kind of revisionist history sickens me.

People please, take the time to understand what it is you claim to believe. I do get that the Bible is long and boring (believe me, I’m reading it), but when you believe that your immortal soul is wrapped up in this mythology you really should read your scriptures.

-Ignorance is not bliss. Stay inquisitive.

I found this in my hunt for images. I just had to add it.