This essay considers two biblical tales each involving a paternally
initiated oath to the Israelite god, YHWH. Both fathers
unintentionally offer his child as a sacrifice, one for a fulfillment
of the oath and the other for transgression. Both oaths arise from
the misguided and unwise actions of the fathers. The first story is
that of Jephtha, the bastard son of a prostitute who had been driven
away by his legitimate brothers only to be recalled in order to lead
an attack against their oppressor, the Ammonites, in a time of
If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine
hands, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of
my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of
Ammon, shall surely be the LORD's, and I will offer it up for a burnt
The second oath is that of Saul whose army is rescued by Jonathan,
Saul’s son, after a near catastrophe in battle with the
Philistines: “Cursed be the man that eateth any food until
evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies.”2
Read more: The Morality of Barbaric Oaths: Finding Middle-Ground for the Secular Reader
Atheism – the lack of belief in gods –
is based upon a lack of evidence for gods, lack of a reason to believe in gods,
and difficulties and contradictions that some god ideas lead to. Nevertheless,
atheism is a tentative state, subject to change if compelling theistic
arguments are presented. Following are some of the arguments that atheists have
considered, along with some of the reasons these arguments have been rejected.
Read more: 34 Unconvincing Arguments for God
December 28, 2008
Patrick Carey, M.D.
I am an atheist, and I am responsible for many things.
As an atheist, I am responsible for promoting the pursuit of truth. I am neither bound by ideology nor held hostage by dogmata, but rather speak in the simple manner of a child. "Why?" A favorite phrase of 3-year-olds is the underlying question of Atheism. When the answer is, "Because I (or God, or Allah) said so . . ." the discussion ends.
Read more: The Responsibilities of an Atheist