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Eric
07-27-2009, 06:28 PM
I was a questioning kid (and am a questioning adult) and always wanted to know why when I was told to do "x" or believe "y." Which is why I was an early skeptic when it came to the assertions made by various religions. Virtually all of these assertions - about the existence of God, his nature (assuming, of course, this being is a male! :D), the rules he expects us to follow, etc. - were urged on me on the basis of the authority of some holy book (such as the Bible) or "just because." But never on the basis of demonstrable fact, logic or even reason. I was told, "you must have faith." But that always struck me as the con man's line. Either something's true and legitimate or it's not. If it 's true, it can be proved or directly supported with facts, logic, etc. If it can't be, then it's either not true or should be regarded with skepticism until it can be shown to be true.

It bewilders me that millions of people are content to accept "on faith" assertions that would seem bizarre or at least suspicious in any other context. But couch it in religious terms, and people will accept as true the most amazing things - including the notion that a monotheistic God can have a son who is also a god and also eternal yet who can also "die" for the sins of humanity; or the story that a guy named Noah rounded up a breeding pair of literally every living thing on the earth (from insects to elephants) and packed them onto his ark and cared for them for 40 days and 40 nights...

dom
07-27-2009, 08:28 PM
Yeah, the Noah one always got me too! But, you have to accept that as.. umm.. some kind of lesson. I would guess a lesson on.. I don't know. I drank to much wine tonight.

Eric
07-28-2009, 04:58 AM
Yeah, the Noah one always got me too! But, you have to accept that as.. umm.. some kind of lesson. I would guess a lesson on.. I don't know. I drank to much wine tonight.

As an allegory, ok. What I find baffling is that millions of people take these stories as literally true; that everything in the Bible is literally true and 100 percent "right." How the Noah story (and others like it) differs from the story of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny escapes me. The fact that "it's in the Bible!" is not an argument or support; it's an evasion of them.

Of course, one of the big problems with the Bible is that it's subject to so much endless interpretation that it is also literally meaningless. Every sect, every person, has his own view of what it means - just listen to the various preachers! - and not one of them can prove their view is the correct one. Yet they argue endlessly about "the word."

It's absurd.

If the Bible were, in fact, true, then it ought to be both clear and immediately comprehensible. The endless interpretation, parsing and need to "study" it is anther strong indication it's just another mishmash of stuff - created by humans (several of them) not God.

DonTom
07-28-2009, 08:00 AM
I have faith in these words:

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. "
- The Buddha (~500 BC)

Eric
07-28-2009, 08:30 AM
I have faith in these words:

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. "
- The Buddha (~500 BC)

Dom beat you to it!

PS: I wonder whether Gail will show up? :eek: