What Is The Likelihood That The Bible Is True?

Parts of my critique against Christianity essentially come down to plausibility or probability, not possibility.

Do I think it is possible that the Bible is true? Yes.

Do I think it is plausible or probable that the Bible is true? No.

There are many ways that the veracity and historicity of the Bible can and have been challenged.

Here are some questions that are among the most important to me:

What is the likelihood that an all powerful God that knew far more about science, psychology, and morality than humans could ever know would set-up a universe that is full of ambiguity, pain, confusion, and suffering for sentient creatures and then blame this system upon the most sentient of those creatures?

What is the likelihood that a God who knows the deepest and most effective forms of human flourishing, social planning, and governmental systems would have promoted the ideas of autocracy and theocracy in their sacred texts instead of democracy and republicanism?

What is the likelihood that an intelligent and compassionate God would include barbarisms like permanent slavery and colonial warfare as part of their chosen people group’s divinely sanctioned behavior, which would inevitably be imitated by future nations that wanted to follow God’s ways?

What is the likelihood that an intelligent and compassionate God would provide virtually no information (especially compared to modern knowledge) about hygiene, biology, and disease to the first humans 100,000+ years ago and very little of this to his chosen people 3,000+ years ago through Old Testament revelation?

What is the likelihood that a compassionate God would build natural elements like devastating comets, earthquakes, disease, tsunamis, mental illnesses, predation, hurricanes, and physical birth defects into the universe’s normative functionality?

Would not a caring and wise God be sure to resist the idea of making a universe like this one because so much profound agony for sentient creatures is built into the way that nature operates?

What is the likelihood that a fair and compassionate God would include things like this in their morally perfect books of the Law?

However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. (Exodus 21:7 NLT)

What is the likelihood that a fair and compassionate God that designed nature and thoroughly understands science would include things like this in their morally perfect books of the Law?

But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy  22:20-21 NAB)

What is the probability of a God that passionately supports the dignity and worth of each human being on Earth directly commanding his chosen people to murder and enslave thousands of individuals from other nations?

When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby. However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 20:10-18 NIV)

Would a God is that patient, kind, just, tolerant, wise, not paranoid, not vindictive, and not wildly reactionary advise the Jews to murder individuals that suggested worship of other gods or exterminate whole cities associated with people like that?

If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again. If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. (Deuteronomy 13:6-15)


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