I have a close friend who is quite intelligent, and is also a Christian. He is not a religious nut by any means, and for the most part agrees that science and the government should be left alone by all religions. (He is a self-proclaimed Marxist on his ideologies.) He has very clear logic on most things, and typically is quite open to receiving information from all sides of an argument, and then forming his own opinion based on the information he is presented. So, I still don't understand why he is religious.
We were discussing, and I pointed some valid points others have made, and yet again some very valid opinions that I have drawn from my thinking (not to say someone else hasnt already). I do not require to break down all the science, logic fallacies and misconceptions that a lot (90%) of Christians have and make. Ultimately, after discussing a variety of other things for several hours,* I came to to state this:
"Ultimately, I do not believe in god because science says so, or history says so, or logic says so, because they do not. They are very helpful with the information that they give me so that I can base my decisions on a firmer ground. It just so happens to be that most of this information goes completely against what the various books of the religions of the world have to say.
I stand firmly, that, if one is going to believe something, they must believe it quite literally and quite wholly, and understand completely why they are going to believe in that something. So, if I use my knowledge of science, the first the thing the Bible even says to me is a lie. (Genesis 1:1) There is no reason to believe what it says there, as opposed the volumes of information we have that says otherwise. To say all of that science is wrong, usually as people do without looking at it, is ignorant.
Now, I also understand and agree that the religious books of the world are not science textbooks, and that it is not those books jobs to explain why everything exists. But these books usually say they are divine, perfect words of gods, and everything they say is true. Well, as I said for the Bible, the first thing it says is not true by any means. And if I have no reason to believe this, and to even find it preposterous, why believe the rest of it. So then you have to question everything else the book says. Immediately, you have to dismiss all of the supernatural things that happen, so there is at least a third of the book wrong. Then you have to examine the historical timeline the book presents, which most of that is wrong. The rest is just pure religious hoopla and religious law. And if anyone were to look at this, all of the hate spread by the Bible. Then the revolting nature of some of what it says. And ultimately the end of the book says that he loves you? Any normal thinking person would find anyone believing this insane.
And to go from there, people sometimes argue that you aren't supposed to follow or believe everything the book says. Well then why follow it at all?"
After a little more back and forth, he came to feel a bit insecure in his beliefs, I could sense in his wordage and voice. Finally ignoring all points, he states in a grande passage of how it is nobodies job to tell others what to believe, and that we are to find it for ourselves, and that, that is the problem with most atheists. (Immediate mental disagreement, but I continued to hear him out.) I tried to point out that the Bible says Christians are supposed to spread the word (contradicting what he said), and that if atheists are debating other religions, we are not forcing our opinions on anybody, only presenting the facts as where to challenge you. It is equal give and take. He continued to stand resolutely on this. Soon after, he had to leave to go see his girl (which was true, that was not a scapegoat), not giving me much time to present a rebuttle. In retrospect, I am starting to form a good counter argument, but I was wondering if you guys would help me shut this annoying statement down.
"Our beliefs about certain several key questions inform our actions, how we behave in the world. Keeping people honest by challenging those beliefs in order to ensure that they can be justified (and if not, abandoned) is perhaps our most important civic duty."
Thank you for this one thing you said. This is precisely what I was trying to relay to him, but could not and did not have enough time to figure out how to say. Excellently put. Appreciate the reply. :)