Apologetics Fail #37
No One is Good


There is a phrase amongst Christians (and not just Evangelicals) which is usually rendered as "No one is good, not even one."

It is used as an attempt at evangelism (you cannot be good, you can only be saved).

It is a (bad) translation of Romans 3:20: "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (King James Version)

All religious faiths (not just Christianity) sell some version of "you're not whole, you're broken" to then sell you the cure (their particular religious faith).

It is a convenient ruse: Tell you are broken and make you believe it, then tell you how to fix it. If you believe this, you are probably roped into that religious faith for life. (Many non-religious groups use the same methodology, because it is a powerful motivation of people to belong to a group which views itself as "good," whether a political party, a self-actualisation group, &c.)

I've already gone over the concept of sin: It is an offence against a god. Christianity also holds that not believing in its god without evidence is a sin itself.

Good and evil are also primarily religious concepts (there is some objective "good" and "bad" and that has to be imposed by an external force, called God).

Christians are very good at saying "you must read things in context, you can't cherry-pick the Bible" (while they do it all the time, as in this verse, or when cherry picking Charles Darwin or other scientists to attempt to debunk atheism, never mind they have nothing to do with atheism).

There is no "context" in which kidnapping the virgin girls of a conquered nation and putting all other women to the sword is moral. None. Today we call that a war crime. In the United States under military law it carries the death penalty. In the Bible it is commanded by God, therefore disobeying is a sin (and not good but evil). Our society is more ethical than the god of the Bible.

If one accepted the definition of "good" in a secular sense as "promoting the commonweal of others and minimising suffering" then "secular good" stands precisely in opposition to "Christian good."

So taking that verse from Romans in the context of the very next verse which follows (Romans 3:21), we find this:

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."

By that statement, if you do not stone your unruly child at the edge of town, you are guilty in the eyes of God of sin and are not "right before God." If you eat shellfish (an abomination) you are guilty and deserving of Hell. This goes on and on in both the Old and New Testaments. No one can be right before God, therefore you must accept Jesus to avoid Hell (a place God created because he loves his creation so much).

Like every other apologetics fail, it starts from the conclusion (God exists), then works backward to prove it (using a book whose authors cannot be verified, which is full of contradictions, has been translated scores of times over thousands of years with no original documents, &c).

Bibleviz has put together a graphical representation of all the contradictions annotated in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible. You can also select Rainbow for a colour by selecting it from the drop down menu on the Website.

Placing your computer's cursor over one of the loops on the chart highlights Bible verses which explicitly contradict each other. (Bear in mind, Christians will tell you the Bible is either the literal or inspired word of God, contradictions notwithstanding).

Today's atheist inspirational quote:


"People tend to treat scriptures like software licesnse agreements: they just scroll to the bottom and click 'I agree'." - Ask an Atheist radio show, Season 5 Episode 3.

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