Okay I now that this is going to seem kind of strange.
My name is Doug. I am a former atheist who is now a Bible thumping Jesus Freak. I am also a former journalist and currently run a facebook community for Christians.
Tomorrow I want to start a thread called "Ask the Atheist" where believers can engage with non-believers. This is not- IS NOT- an effort to try and convert anyone. Instead it's about building a community where people can talk about issues from every different perspective. The thread will go up around 10 am EST on Facebook...
The thing is I just need one Atheist to answer the questions. I suspect they will be along the line of : did you attend church as kid, are your parents religious, when did you tell them about your doubt, how have your encounters with Christians been- do they rub you the wrong way, or they always trying shove God down your throat.
I personally only know a few members of our on line community. But all of them have been very respectful. So if you are free (can be in front of a computer) tomorrow mid morning please let me know.
Decent advice? That's really picking and choosing even from the latest re-written version.
I have chosen to be nice to people because that's how I'm wired. I couldn't give a toss about what that book says. I say that because I don't get my morals from it. I'd have to lower myself to reading it first of all. I know I'd put it down fairly quickly though.
We don't need that book to tell us how to do what we've already figured out.
Tell me this. When you buy a new dvd player for example. It comes with a nice booklet to describe the functions of the 4 buttons on the front. Cunningly labelled play/pause, stop/eject, forward and back. Do you still read the instructions from the useless booklet?
"If you don't believe and obey 100% of the bible, how can you, in all conscience follow any of it?"
I was responding to this comment specifically. Just because part of a book is BS doesn't make you a person of bad conscience to follow the parts that are good. I didn't mean anything beyond that.
So why look to the Bible for that Josiah, when you can find it in the writings of Confucius, 300 years BCE, and in the works of many other philosophers? Why do you need religion to be humane?
Hitler was very religious - how did that work out for everyone?
"Who says I am not under the special protection of God?"
-- Adolph Hitler --
I wouldn't look to the Bible, I agree there are much better sources. And I don't think, and didn't say that you need religion to be humane. I was just pointing out that what had been said about books didn't make sense.
In my example, Josiah - interesting choice of names for a leader of an 1100-member atheist group - I fail to see the fallacy. You implied there were teachings in the Bible that could make us better people, I demonstrated that though there are likely teachings there that could improve our behavior, if adopted, many who have professed to accept that Bible in its entirety, have amply demonstrated that it has done them no good.
I can find as many guidelines to good living in a volume of Emily Dickenson poetry as I can ever find in the Bible, and don't have to wade through volumes of hogwash to find them.
Are you sure you're an atheist?
If you are going to respond to things I didn't say while ignoring what I was talking about then this is not a dialog. And I will not waste my time in dueling monologues.
Good day sir,
Ooooh, touchy --
Interesting, Blaine, "Josiah" only joined TA 16-17 hours ago. Suppose doug sent him an SOS?
Oh wait, you've gotten my interest again. This is fantastic. What is our secret agenda?
Too little, too late, you've lost mine. Go back to your flock, this board doesn't need a faux atheist. Or stay, as you like, but I suspect your effectiveness has diminished significantly.
If others treat you poorly out of blindness, I will try and shine a light. But if you see that I am acting blindly, please show me the way.
Now this is a statement lifted directly from your blog. Do you think that it is a true reflection of your approach here? You join a club, TA, and almost immediately pick arguments with members who are greatly valued amongst our existing forum posters. Why is that?
I take your point, I have behaved poorly here, thank you for pointing that out.