armed with a degree in theology, over the years i have come up with specific questions to ask of christians.
indeed i even attend "alpha courses" (introductory courses to becoming a christian) and put these questions to the hosts (usually under the guise of "well i'm thinking of becoming a christian but i have some questions...)
confrontation and causing offense gets you nowhere. also being impolite just reinforces their smug assertion that atheists are angry.
the question i have had most success with at putting people on the spot goes like this...
"a priest rapes a choirboy. the choirboy becomes depressed and traumatized, rejects jesus and the church (understandably), turns to drugs, dies young and spends an eternity in hell, unsaved and condemned by god.
the priest repents on his deathbed, embraces christ, is forgiven and spends forever in heaven.
by what measure can we consider this to be justice?"
i'm hoping that this question might one day become a meme, so that anyone who brings up the subject of christianity is immediately reminded of this question and has an answer demanded of them.
i have many other questions like this that cannot be simply swatted away with theology, mystery or dogma.
i'd be happy to share them with anyone who is interested.
thanks for reading, let me know if it has an impact on anyone you ask.
Simon...you are now adding even more to your theory about love/god/evolution...but you still haven't defined it or explained it in any way...which means we cannot possibly understand it let alone reply to it. Could you please give us a running definition per the reply I wrote yesterday. I'll repeat it below:
Could you please define precisely what you mean by love, if love is merely a chemical reaction in the mind or something more, how love is transmitted from a person to another person and if love can be transmitted to/from animals, to/from tress and plants, and if it can be transmitted to/from celestial objects, space, the ocean or even rocks.
Put simply, the way I am defining love for this purpose is: to give flourishing to someone, to cause someone to flourish more, to benefit someone, to make someone better off. This can only be done using actions of some kind; I can't think of any other way. I hope that answers all your questions at once.
People who don't get "with it" will continue to consider themselves as they please. You think I'm a dinosaur because I won't get with your program? That's what's going on in your head. I don't want your program, and I don't need it. I've evolved past your program. Good luck with the stragglers :)
Don't you see, Strega? We've been looking everywhere for some guy so arrogantly sure he's right, and now we've found him!! We're saved! Just follow Simon!
Wait a minute, on second thought...I've heard this before, somewhere.
I know I'm right. No-one's forcing you to do anything.
Sorry Simon..that definition tells me nothing. How is that loves transmitted? Is it purely physical (speech, body movements) or is it more than that. Do you believe love is transmitted in a way other than human physical interaction (a force or energy a spiritual manifestation or a non-material interaction). We need to know this before we can try and understand what you mean by god=love on a cosmic scale. I'm not sure you have worked this out or that you know precisely what you !ran by god=love.
Yes, Xtianity is so not P(A + B) ≤ P(A) ∀ A, B ∈ ℜ
Because it's a whole new era in philosophy, and it makes Immanuel Kant and Jeremy Bentham look like also-rans who failed to come up with this. For a reason. It's really good.
The evolutionary version of the idea of God's love, coupled with a clear, simple, precise and powerful moral formula, is a simple logical key that really does unlock the power and mystery of religion and make them accessible and available to non-believers. At the same time, it affords a clear and easily explorable critique of much of the inner workings of religion, as we might have seen recently.
It's a form of philosophy that is relevant to everyday life and that ordinary people can understand and take part in (i.e. make new progress in), because it is so easy to understand and because of the logical key, it remains logical all the way through.
"Simon, you say this thing is easy to understand, but yet you fail completely in being understood."
- "knock, and ye shall enter." "seek and ye shall find." Sorry, but it works. I can only lead a horse to water, but the atheist horses don't want to drink the religious drink. Likewise in the other direction.
"You are seriously challenging the great philosophers, stating your philosophy leaves them far behind?"
- yes. Have you seen the rubbish they came up with? My stuff works, theirs doesn't.
"As Steve requested, please don't use the term 'us' as if to speak for other atheists. You aren't."
- at the moment, I can only speak for myself. But in the future, I'll have company.
Anyway, there's a lot more than what I've shown you - it all hangs together really well, it's all of a piece, a beautifully orchestrated whole, and I don't mean my work (which is far from perfect) but the ideas themselves. Once you have the initial framework then the rest falls into place in a very easily understandable way. But people aren't necessarily used to looking at things on that deep level.
OK, I had a look at a video by Alain de Botton about Kant, and I thought some of his ideas were quite good. Me and him should have got together.