Why I Believe
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06-04-2017, 10:04 AM
RE: Why I Believe
I've already talked a lot about the argument from ignorance and I don't think any of it is sinking in.

Let's say you're arrested and hauled off to jail, then thrown before a judge to face a murder charge. You ask what the hell is going on. Why have they done this? What evidence do they have that you have anything to do with it?

Their "evidence" is to assume you did the murder, and you have to prove you didn't do it. If you can't, then you're guilty. What would you make of that? Is that a good way of going about finding the truth of the case?

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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06-04-2017, 10:11 AM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2017 10:17 AM by kim.)
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I thought it might be useful to list the 2 main reasons why I believe (other than fear).

You previously stated emphatically that the main reason you believe is fear.
Anything not having to do with fear will be considered manipulative to any rational mind. Anything not having to do with fear will be considered dishonest, untrustworthy, and designed to manipulate the rational mind.

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I regularly hear two complaints against the bible,

(i) it's plain wrong on certain facts (I'll use the creation story in Genesis)
1. I do not believe the creation story in Genesis was intended to be read as a scientific paper.
Fine. That's not what it is. So, stop reading it like it is.

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  (ii) it's full of contradictions
2. Of all the contradictions mentioned in the bible, I really believe that most are......dare I say it......taken out of context or can easily be explained away.
Here you confirm that you read the bible like a scientific paper.
You contradict yourself. Constantly.

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  EDIT: I'm honestly not trying to preach here, I am doing this for me to look at what I believe and see if it really stands up to scrutiny.

This is a manipulative and an untrustworthy statement.

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06-04-2017, 10:14 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 06:20 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  I'd rather see you address more of the responses you have received. Because frankly you're starting to sound a bit preachy.
I thought I had responded to them. It isn't my intention to preach, far from it. I only wanted to hear another perspective on certain verses that I wouldn't get from Christians

(06-04-2017 06:20 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  I have to admit, you are starting to annoy me.
Sorry

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Please though, don't post numerous contradictions, just post one or two you think are real howlers.

(06-04-2017 06:20 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Seriously? You're too lazy to do your own work, you ask us to do said work, then you ask us to do said work poorly. WTF?
No I think you misunderstood. All I was saying asking for was one or two verses that other posters might know about so I could look into them. Instead of like, 100 contradictions, I was only asking for one or two per poster. I was then going to do the legwork and look into them.

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I could go to the sceptics annotated bible or other similar sites, but I'd just get swamped by the amount of information there.

(06-04-2017 06:20 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Or you're afraid you might actually learn something.
Or you're too lazy.
Or you're not here to learn, just to preach bad apologetics.
Actually, I'm afraid I might not learn something. I'm not too lazy. Yesterday I spent almost the entire day researching stuff. I would have today too but I've been out of the house. All I will say about your third claim is that you could not be more wrong.

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  EDIT: I'm honestly not trying to preach here, I am doing this for me to look at what I believe and see if it really stands up to scrutiny.

(06-04-2017 06:20 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Yeah, well I don't believe you.
Fair enough but I'm not lying. Hopefully you'll see in time I'm not trying to preach or have an ulterior motive. I just basically shared my innermost secrets with everyone on this website. I did not need to do that, but did so to try to convince people I was being genuine.

(06-04-2017 06:20 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Do your own research.
Start with the SAB.
Verify the information you uncover.
Some of the contradictions are trivial. Many are not.
Ok

(06-04-2017 06:20 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  But the numbers don't really matter.
Because if the book was written by an omnipotent deity, there should not be any contradictions.
Absolutely agree with you.

I'm sorry you feel the way you do, I really am.

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06-04-2017, 10:17 AM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2017 10:24 AM by The Organic Chemist.)
RE: Why I Believe
Hopefully this isn't TL/DR for you.

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I thought it might be useful to list the 2 main reasons why I believe (other than fear). I regularly hear two complaints against the bible, (i) it's plain wrong on certain facts (I'll use the creation story in Genesis) and (ii) it's full of contradictions:

1. I do not believe the creation story in Genesis was intended to be read as a scientific paper. As Galileo once said (I think) "The bible teaches us how to go to heaven not how the heavens go."

Fine. But if that story of creation is just a primitive explanation of where we came from, why can't the Adam and Eve story just be an allegory of why bad things happen? If there is no Adam and Eve, there is nothing to be saved from. The entirety of christianity crumbles if Adam and Eve didn't exist. for that matter, one question I have asked of many who argue allegory (I am not saying you did) but never received an answer from is "How can you tell the allegories from the parts that are supposed to be real?" Regardless of what you think about the teachings of Jesus, the gospels at least differentiate between the stories and what is supposed to have really happened.

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  So when I hear people saying things "how can you believe in Christianity when the bible claims the earth was made before the sun?, or "the bible can't decide if man was made before or after the beasts[/i[", it doesn't have much of an effect on me. The two accounts of creation in Genesis are known and believed to be different and the explanation is that they are two different styles in telling the creation account. Also, I ask myself, the two creation stories are very different in parts, to the point where the author(s) [i]must have realised this. If so, why wasn't anything edited? I think it is because the different styles were intended, or at least, not seen as problematic.


Here is how I address this:
a) Gen 1 and 2 were likely written by two different people in two different tribes (according to Karen Armstrong and Robert Wright.) These were then later compiled together.
b) They didn't care. As far as I am aware, a Jew's religion doesn't hinge on the creation story any more than a christians would on whether Sampson was actually real. It is the same as you pointing out some supposed contradictions that have been told to you and also said that really doesn't matter as far as you're concerned since the creation story being accurate is not a big deal to most christians that I have ever interacted with(I will get to those is a second). It really didn't matter to me when I still believed either.
c) the rationale of "it would have been fixed if it was a problem" is a very credulous thing to say. I can tell you that I have read many, many christian books where the author completely refutes their own case (Tim Keller being one) and no one seemed to notice or care. People believe Lee Strobel and he is so full of crap he could fertilize the Sahara. Motivated reasoning, credulity, and ignorance are a powerful thing and you shouldn't underestimate them. Also, bear in mind that hardly any Jews could read. The ones who could may have known that it was irreconcilable and do what christians do with the nativity story: they smash two irreconcilable stories together and make a third one that is more palatable. We know this does happen (i.e. Martin Luther's trip to the Vatican).


(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  2. Of all the contradictions mentioned in the bible, I really believe that most are......dare I say it......taken out of context or can easily be explained away. I'll list two examples:

“And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (I Kings 4:26)

“And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (II Chronicles 9:25)

One passage tells of the number of horses while the other tells of the number of stalls for horses and chariots. They had ten horses and ten men per chariot. The same ratio is seen in

II Samuel 10:18 “And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians.”

I Chronicles 19:18 “But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots.”

And

James 2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

James, is speaking of the sanctification element which is also a part of the salvation process. We are saved by faith alone, but faith is not alone. Real faith produces real works. If Christians do not have real works then they do not have real faith.

Galatians 2:16 Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Paul in Galatians is speaking of the root or the initiation of salvation. We are saved (in this sense) by faith alone. Our works cannot bring us into that initial entrance of a relationship with Christ.

If the numbers "problems" are what you're hearing, I would say that you are talking to some poorly educated people. These could easily be simple exaggeration or scribal errors. I have never met any christian whose faith rests on the size of Solomon's stable figures. A bit of a strawman, really. That said, the Galatians and James things you pointed out are not necessarily a contradiction, but they certainly cause a ton of problems considering many denominations are the tattered remains of parent denominations whose interpretation of these passages are different. Personally, I found your explanation of these (not the numbers stuff) silly and a bit of a word salad. However, if that is what you feel they mean, then run with that if it makes you feel better.

However, contradictions are not only internal. It is contradictory if the scripture says something in the world we know to be wrong. This is to me where the book fails miserably. The entire creation story is false and that is demonstrable. Also, the story about Jacob and breeding the goats by looking at different sticks is totally bullshit and we can easily prove that. It is a contradiction because it contradicts what we know of genetics and nature. This is something surely that a creator would have known to be false. If so, why did he include it in his word to humanity knowing we would one day know it was crap? The reason this is a problem is that if humans inserted it, what else did they insert? Jonah? Lot? Elijah? Jesus? Parts that show no divine influence actually require the people claiming the bible as the word of god to now demonstrate how they know which parts god did and which parts man did. we know that man has created gods, so why is this one the exception? This is one of the reason inerrancy is claimed. It never allows for human interpolation because if it is allowed, the entire scriptural credibility is in jeopardy. Don't think for one second that church leaders preaching an inerrant bible aren't aware of this.


(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I would be very interested in trying to answer some glaring contradictions you have found in the bible. I'll do the legwork, you just post them. It's been a good few number of years since I looked into this but I'm absolutely certain there are some (lots) I haven't heard of. Please though, don't post numerous contradictions, just post one or two you think are real howlers. It's always been in the back of my mind that I'm ok with the so called contradictions, so perhaps it's time to put that to the test.


I think you are putting the cart before the horse. It is a contradiction as far as we are aware that the supernatural even is possible, muchless that something there cares where humans put their dicks. We know of no supernatural effects, no interactions, and no realms. So to claim there is one, something there cares about you, and this is what it wants of you, completely contradicts what we are aware of. Establishing the supernatural as a possible answer is merely a baseline and is essential to even begin making a case for theism. So, I guess I have to correct myself: you are putting the cart before the horse whose breed that hasn't even been bred yet.

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  EDIT: I'm honestly not trying to preach here, I am doing this for me to look at what I believe and see if it really stands up to scrutiny.

I believe you. That is why I am responding. I don't waste my time on trolls (well, a few swipes here and there for fun). I leave that to other people here with far more snark and patience.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
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06-04-2017, 10:22 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 07:05 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  It's not up to us to prove the bible is wrong, in fact you have already conceded that with the "metaphor" defense of Genesis.

Now it sounds like you're just another passive-aggressive believer that thought you were clever by pretending to doubt, then charge into a headlong defense of the very thing that has caused you so much anguish.

If you really are what you say you are, then you should be accepting of these criticisms without trying to defend it. Either you are committed to rejecting the truth of this story book or you are playing dishonest games with us and yourself.

I posted earlier that apologists are liars, why are you going through apologist's arguments?

Are you going to defend the nonsense or reject it?

If you can't be honest with yourself, then why engage in this?
I have a phobia about hell. It terrifies me and I've posted about it (therapy, medication, intrusive thoughts, images etc). I am a Christian with a very shaky faith and I am trying to see if I can destroy my faith because that's the only way I can see of getting out of this dark period I am in.

If I can come to the knowledge that, "Hey, wait a minute, this verse has been changed, and this one was added at a much later date, and this person never actually said this!" then I can safely say I don't believe anymore.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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06-04-2017, 10:24 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:22 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(06-04-2017 07:05 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  It's not up to us to prove the bible is wrong, in fact you have already conceded that with the "metaphor" defense of Genesis.

Now it sounds like you're just another passive-aggressive believer that thought you were clever by pretending to doubt, then charge into a headlong defense of the very thing that has caused you so much anguish.

If you really are what you say you are, then you should be accepting of these criticisms without trying to defend it. Either you are committed to rejecting the truth of this story book or you are playing dishonest games with us and yourself.

I posted earlier that apologists are liars, why are you going through apologist's arguments?

Are you going to defend the nonsense or reject it?

If you can't be honest with yourself, then why engage in this?
I have a phobia about hell. It terrifies me and I've posted about it (therapy, medication, intrusive thoughts, images etc). I am a Christian with a very shaky faith and I am trying to see if I can destroy my faith because that's the only way I can see of getting out of this dark period I am in.

If I can come to the knowledge that, "Hey, wait a minute, this verse has been changed, and this one was added at a much later date, and this person never actually said this!" then I can safely say I don't believe anymore.

If you want to try and dispel your faith, you're going to have to become more critical of it. Giving it (like the Bible for instance) any benefit of the doubt as a container of truth isn't being critical.

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06-04-2017, 10:37 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:17 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  Hopefully this isn't TL/DR for you.

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I thought it might be useful to list the 2 main reasons why I believe (other than fear). I regularly hear two complaints against the bible, (i) it's plain wrong on certain facts (I'll use the creation story in Genesis) and (ii) it's full of contradictions:

1. I do not believe the creation story in Genesis was intended to be read as a scientific paper. As Galileo once said (I think) "The bible teaches us how to go to heaven not how the heavens go."

Fine. But if that story of creation is just a primitive explanation of where we came from, why can't the Adam and Eve story just be an allegory of why bad things happen? If there is no Adam and Eve, there is nothing to be saved from. The entirety of christianity crumbles if Adam and Eve didn't exist. for that matter, one question I have asked of many who argue allegory (I am not saying you did) but never received an answer from is "How can you tell the allegories from the parts that are supposed to be real?" Regardless of what you think about the teachings of Jesus, the gospels at least differentiate between the stories and what is supposed to have really happened.

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  So when I hear people saying things "how can you believe in Christianity when the bible claims the earth was made before the sun?, or "the bible can't decide if man was made before or after the beasts[/i[", it doesn't have much of an effect on me. The two accounts of creation in Genesis are known and believed to be different and the explanation is that they are two different styles in telling the creation account. Also, I ask myself, the two creation stories are very different in parts, to the point where the author(s) [i]must have realised this. If so, why wasn't anything edited? I think it is because the different styles were intended, or at least, not seen as problematic.


Here is how I address this:
a) Gen 1 and 2 were likely written by two different people in two different tribes (according to Karen Armstrong and Robert Wright.) These were then later compiled together.
b) They didn't care. As far as I am aware, a Jew's religion doesn't hinge on the creation story any more than a christians would on whether Sampson was actually real. It is the same as you pointing out some supposed contradictions that have been told to you and also said that really doesn't matter as far as you're concerned since the creation story being accurate is not a big deal to most christians that I have ever interacted with(I will get to those is a second). It really didn't matter to me when I still believed either.
c) the rationale of "it would have been fixed if it was a problem" is a very credulous thing to say. I can tell you that I have read many, many christian books where the author completely refutes their own case (Tim Keller being one) and no one seemed to notice or care. People believe Lee Strobel and he is so full of crap he could fertilize the Sahara. Motivated reasoning, credulity, and ignorance are a powerful thing and you shouldn't underestimate them. Also, bear in mind that hardly any Jews could read. The ones who could may have known that it was irreconcilable and do what christians do with the nativity story: they smash two irreconcilable stories together and make a third one that is more palatable. We know this does happen (i.e. Martin Luther's trip to the Vatican).


(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  2. Of all the contradictions mentioned in the bible, I really believe that most are......dare I say it......taken out of context or can easily be explained away. I'll list two examples:

“And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (I Kings 4:26)

“And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (II Chronicles 9:25)

One passage tells of the number of horses while the other tells of the number of stalls for horses and chariots. They had ten horses and ten men per chariot. The same ratio is seen in

II Samuel 10:18 “And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians.”

I Chronicles 19:18 “But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots.”

And

James 2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

James, is speaking of the sanctification element which is also a part of the salvation process. We are saved by faith alone, but faith is not alone. Real faith produces real works. If Christians do not have real works then they do not have real faith.

Galatians 2:16 Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Paul in Galatians is speaking of the root or the initiation of salvation. We are saved (in this sense) by faith alone. Our works cannot bring us into that initial entrance of a relationship with Christ.

If the numbers "problems" are what you're hearing, I would say that you are talking to some poorly educated people. These could easily be simple exaggeration or scribal errors. I have never met any christian whose faith rests on the size of Solomon's stable figures. A bit of a strawman, really. That said, the Galatians and James things you pointed out are not necessarily a contradiction, but they certainly cause a ton of problems considering many denominations are the tattered remains of parent denominations whose interpretation of these passages are different. Personally, I found your explanation of these (not the numbers stuff) silly and a bit of a word salad. However, if that is what you feel they mean, then run with that if it makes you feel better.

However, contradictions are not only internal. It is contradictory if the scripture says something in the world we know to be wrong. This is to me where the book fails miserably. The entire creation story is false and that is demonstrable. Also, the story about Jacob and breeding the goats by looking at different sticks is totally bullshit and we can easily prove that. It is a contradiction because it contradicts what we know of genetics and nature. This is something surely that a creator would have known to be false. If so, why did he include it in his word to humanity knowing we would one day know it was crap? The reason this is a problem is that if humans inserted it, what else did they insert? Jonah? Lot? Elijah? Jesus? Parts that show no divine influence actually require the people claiming the bible as the word of god to now demonstrate how they know which parts god did and which parts man did. we know that man has created gods, so why is this one the exception? This is one of the reason inerrancy is claimed. It never allows for human interpolation because if it is allowed, the entire scriptural credibility is in jeopardy. Don't think for one second that church leaders preaching an inerrant bible aren't aware of this.


(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I would be very interested in trying to answer some glaring contradictions you have found in the bible. I'll do the legwork, you just post them. It's been a good few number of years since I looked into this but I'm absolutely certain there are some (lots) I haven't heard of. Please though, don't post numerous contradictions, just post one or two you think are real howlers. It's always been in the back of my mind that I'm ok with the so called contradictions, so perhaps it's time to put that to the test.


I think you are putting the cart before the horse. It is a contradiction as far as we are aware that the supernatural even is possible, muchless that something there cares where humans put their dicks. We know of no supernatural effects, no interactions, and no realms. So to claim there is one, something there cares about you, and this is what it wants of you, completely contradicts what we are aware of. Establishing the supernatural as a possible answer is merely a baseline and is essential to even begin making a case for theism. So, I guess I have to correct myself: you are putting the cart before the horse whose breed that hasn't even been bred yet.

(06-04-2017 03:03 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  EDIT: I'm honestly not trying to preach here, I am doing this for me to look at what I believe and see if it really stands up to scrutiny.

I believe you. That is why I am responding. I don't waste my time on trolls (well, a few swipes here and there for fun). I leave that to other people here with far more snark and patience.
It wasn't too long a post and thank you for posting it

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06-04-2017, 10:40 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(06-04-2017 10:22 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  
(06-04-2017 07:05 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  It's not up to us to prove the bible is wrong, in fact you have already conceded that with the "metaphor" defense of Genesis.

Now it sounds like you're just another passive-aggressive believer that thought you were clever by pretending to doubt, then charge into a headlong defense of the very thing that has caused you so much anguish.

If you really are what you say you are, then you should be accepting of these criticisms without trying to defend it. Either you are committed to rejecting the truth of this story book or you are playing dishonest games with us and yourself.

I posted earlier that apologists are liars, why are you going through apologist's arguments?

Are you going to defend the nonsense or reject it?

If you can't be honest with yourself, then why engage in this?
I have a phobia about hell. It terrifies me and I've posted about it (therapy, medication, intrusive thoughts, images etc). I am a Christian with a very shaky faith and I am trying to see if I can destroy my faith because that's the only way I can see of getting out of this dark period I am in.

If I can come to the knowledge that, "Hey, wait a minute, this verse has been changed, and this one was added at a much later date, and this person never actually said this!" then I can safely say I don't believe anymore.

Here you go, 6 Passages That Weren't in the Original New Testament

Here's another interesting video, he shows how this gospel was manufactured for theological reasons and not a factual retelling of historical events:





So what do you do with this information? Admit there are some threads on these stories that you can pull on and they unravel? Or run off to gotquestions to relax in the comforting arms of the huckster apologists?

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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06-04-2017, 10:45 AM
RE: Why I Believe
It seems I messed up here by posting the above verses. Some posters think I have done so to preach, but all I can say is I absolutely never did and it never entered my mind to do so.

I posted them hoping they'd be shot down (for the record, I think I have been more or less). That's just the truth of it all.

Yesterday was awesome here. People were very supportive and welcoming and I felt hopeful, but today because of my posting I've actually angered some of those people. I can understand why some would think like this, I can understand Christians have come here and started preaching - but I did not have that intent.

I apologise

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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06-04-2017, 10:46 AM
RE: Why I Believe
Apparently, you were told a whole lotta things. And I've been told I remind someone of a sunset. Both sound equally bullshitty to me.

"I was told" sounds like the ultimate cop-out. Do YOU believe it? Not the person who "told" it to you. You, personally, what do YOU think (because, obviously, we cannot talk about "knowing" here, can we?)

(06-04-2017 09:31 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I was told that God inspired men to write the text, so whilst it is God's word, it was penned by fallible men. They were inspired to put down what they felt inspired to put down. Something like that.

Why? If/When you have a child, do you raise them by leaving cryptic messages around the house, written down by someone who doesn't speak your language?

If not, how does it make sense for an all-knowing, all-loving god figure to the same?


Quote:For this one, I was told that it would throw out the need for faith. I am sure there's a verse that says without faith it is impossible to please God. So we are to live our life by faith and in doing so, show God that we are prepared to trust Him.

What's so great about faith? That's a serious question and I would like an answer.

And why should we trust something that we have never ever seen? And you do know that trust (and respect, and love for that matter), are EARNED, right? Why exactly should I trust a god who's never even had the decency to show his face?

And he still could have at least told our ancestors not to rape and not to treat women as property, no? Oh wait, he was too busy drowning all the babies and pregnant women and kittens in the world that one time, because he got cranky we weren't genuflecting vehemently enough Dodgy

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