My wife is somewhat religious, so we occasionally attend a mega new "Jesus is the answer" kinda church called Elevation Church. I don't mind going cause the sermons often lead to thinking exercises of my own.

Anyway they started a new series called "I don't know what I believe." Going in I figured the pastor would make a weak argument as to why Christians don't need to believe everything the bible says...I was right. So far the first weekend sermon he goes on and on about how "we" don't need to worry about if what the bible says is true or not or what certain interpretations mean, just trust in Jesus and follow his ways and "we" will basically be stronger spiritualy and what not. What I'm having trouble with is trying to explain to my wife why his argument is flawed (i forget the logical fallacy here). Can someone help me come up with a non confrontational way of explaining this to my wife; I have such trouble speaking my thoughts and words in a clear manner ? Feel free to watch some of the sermon to get an idea of how manipulative/inspirational he is..the website-
http://elevationchurch.org/sermons

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I really don't know the name of the fallacy, but my problem with this is the criteria. Which criteria are you using for what is 'believable' and what's not? Usually, it is reason, but they won't admit. So, that being said, how is it that Noah's story is symbolic, Moses' stories also, etc, and the story of a man resurecting from the death is not?

Awesome point! That's another distinction that has to be pointed out...can't omit or make exceptions parts of the Bible that don't fit with their ideals.

Jeremy,

Have you ever played the game where one person in a line whispers a sentence or two to the person next to them and they in turn repeat the message on down the line. At the end of the line the last person verbalizes what he/she thought they was told. It is usually quite surprising how altered the message becomes. This is analogous to allowing theists to pick and choose biblical scripture and interpret it as they see fit. In the end you have an adulteration of the original work. And you also have a thousand different denominations! If the bible is considered the definitive sacred, god-inspired scripture then you have to believe the crazy stories (Jonah and the whale) along with the more sedate ones. 

I would ask your wife that if she did not have knowledge of the Christian bible and it's contents what would she consider tangible verifiable evidence that this particular god exists? Depending on her response you should hopefully be able to offer further insight for her.

I watched the first three minutes or so of the video but my brain started to expand rapidly as if I was involved in a head-on collision in an automobile. Sorry. 

Hold her in your arms, look into her eyes, kiss her passionately on the lips, tell her you love her...and then ask whats for dinner.

Ok maybe just the first four things. :)

Could it be Paschal's Wager - better to believe and be wrong, than not to believe and be wrong? The response to that, is if you have to think about it, are you really believing, or just covering your ass? And if there really WERE an omniscient god, wouldn't he know what you're doing?

Don't forget that the wager also works on the thousands of other gods. Why not believe in Huehuecoyotl just to be sure?

By they way I didn't know Paschal's Wager was classified as a logical fallacy, but now that I think of it, that's really what it is. 

 

By the way, for the both of you, it's "Pascal"

He was a brilliant mathematician, I tend to believe he put this thing out there as a joke since it is so transparently ridiculous.  I've seen it made even worse by people who leave out one of the four combined possibilities to make the wager more lopsided.

There's also a planted assumption that the probability of [the assumed specific] god existing is 50 percent.

RE: "By the way, for the both of you, it's 'Pascal'" - hey, I wrote that at 4:30 in the am, whaddaya want from me? Besides, I'll bet 'Pascal' couldn't spell archaeopteryx! Maybe he couldn't spell "Paschal" either, and all this time, you've been writing it, "Pascal" - just because he was a brilliant mathematician doesn't mean he could spell!

I have no idea what my excuse is. Holy shit, "Paschal."

You said it because I said it, it's Human nature. Apparently monkey nature as well, as in, "Monkey see...."

RE: "Why not believe in Huehuecoyotl just to be sure?" - because I can't pronounce it, much less spell it --

If the content of the holy books is untrue and/or subject to different interpretations, how can it guide your beliefs and behaviors which will be judged to determine your eternal fate?. Also, a non-absolute view of the holy texts can spawn an almost infinite set of opposing religions. 

Religions become diabolically opposed over time. Wow, the Christians will be surprised when Jesus returns to break all the crosses and condemn all of them per Islam.

 

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