Or, if you buy the Reform position, and insist that God IS more powerful, God knew even before he started, that he would cast billions of souls into eternal torment, and did it anyway, the ultimate 'because I can, that's why, so piss off.' In which case, God is more powerful, but also a complete and utter S.O.B.
God magically impregnated his mother with himself, for the purpose of killing himself in a revolting torture in order to save humanity, of which he condemned in the first place. Anyone who buys into this is an idiot.
@Kelly: Your view of the Christian narrative and doctrine is certainly a somewhat kinder one, but I am afraid that it is rather rare. The doctrine of hell, or at least the idea that only some will be 'saved' from whatever the alternative is a core doctrine in Christianity. That you have chosen to reject those portions of it (presumably finding, as do many of us, the idea of damnation for billions to be ethically unpalatable), does, in effect, demonstrate one of the more damning critiques of the religion as a whole - that some kind of mental gymnastics is required to accept if on its face. Unfortunately, such reinterpretation renders your subsequent defense of the faith a little disingenuous.
Secondly, even in light of your choice to reject the crueler aspects of your religion, it still poses the same questions of evidence and rationality. I think it is safe to say that it is these logical and rational flaws that prove the irrefutable elements on most of our rejection of not only your form of religious narrative, but all others as well.
I love how some theists parse their 'divine' book and toss out the offensive divine bits, then take offense when the the whole doctrine is summarized.
By the way, where did these individuals get the authority to change god's words? Further, if they need to change god's words, why would the believe the books hold any divinity?
@ kelly haters: don't blame kelly for misinterpreting the bible and calling everyone else confused, she's a mormon.
Ever have something just not work like you planned? I commented earlier on the picture, but it showed up in the chronology looking like I suppor Kelly's position. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was trying to comment that the picture is an accurate representation of christian doctrine and, if followed to its logical conclusion, christians would have to admit that satan is more powerful than god.
As to Kelly's post, she sounds like a universalist. We're all going to be saved. In that case, don't worry about it. She does strike me as slightly condescending by her implied assumption that we don't know anything about christianity.
Of course, I can only speak for myself, but she couldn't be more wrong.
@Mith Barnes - I find your response to Kelly to be very well worded and eloquent. I can't imagine an argument to be any better expressed.
@Kelly - I noticed you said "We believe". Funny, I have debated with several xians and I can tell you that most do NOT believe your nonsense. They believe completely different nonsense. Also, just to be clear, there is a HUGE difference between "believing" and "understanding". I can tell you that most outspoken atheists have a much better understanding of your delusional superstition than most theists. As a matter of fact, it is the fact that we DO understand it that most often causes us to NOT believe it. If you truly understood, rather than simply justifying your delusion, you would probably stop believing it, too.
This photo, although it probably makes perfect sense, is mocking. I don't think Kelly is offensive at all, I think she's polite and reasonable. We've gone off like a packet of firecrackers. It's one against many, and we should be polite and generous, and cool, like we always claim to be. There's no need to turn this into yet another Christian-versus-Atheist slanging match. Where does that get us? Well, it's good entertainment for a Saturday afternoon. Let's try and progress beyond mundane materialism and withering, smart-alec rationalizing, for once. It's nice to get some fresh air. We need to take a wrecking ball to our belief system every now and again, and see what new improved buildings grow up in its place. I love all that spooky magic she talks about. If we can be straightforward and realistic about the issues, I think it has a psychological validity and depth which we ignore to our loss. Talking about Satan - have you met my "friend" P. ? Evil incarnate. It exists, and it's very dangerous. Also we have corruption, selfishness, weakness, vanity etc. , all much more common. All sins because they are all choices. As for original sin - let's face it, we're all far from perfect. We all screw up horribly from time to time. Is there a Garden of Eden for every human being? What about the time when we were an innocent, undamaged little child? When we were fully happy and healthy? I don't know. I suppose it's all about sex. For some reason, the Genesis story seems to have a major downer on it. This has proved to be nothing but a destructive mistake ever since. For atheists, it is true and obvious that in certain ways, the factual basis of religion is absurd and illogical, and some of its teachings are nonsensical. However - I don't think this matters too much. It does not invalidate the Christian religion. What effect does it really have? Creationism and anti-science; justification of unhealthy laws and restrictions; not knowing the right thing to do; quite a lot actually. That's as maybe. All these things are only human customs and knowledge. They can be changed easily. Aside from all that arbitrary rubbish, at its heart Christianity is in direct contact with what it means to be alive. This is the source of its strength and goodness, where it is allowed to act.
@Simon - actually, I think that ludicrous, nonsensical, childish beliefs deserve to get mocked. That is how people learn to stop spewing bullshit when they are children (well, some of us).
But I think you are missing the bigger picture when it comes to the damage of religion to society. I think the biggest problem is that it teaches people to emotionally evaluate evidence rather than rationally or logically. It teaches people that, if they want something to be true hard enough, then it *must* be true. That is, I believe, one of the biggest problems with our political system in this country. WAY too much of it revolves around delusional superstitions rather than looking at what is actually productive for a healthy society. It also allows people to feel self-righteous enough to think they should enslave other people based on their nonsensical beliefs. That is why we are STILL debating on whether to allow same-sex marriage. Marriage, in a legal sense, has ALWAYS been simply a contract. But once religion gets involved, all of a sudden people think they have the right to dictate who others are allowed to spend their lives with. We've already been through this once, in this country, with the argument that "decent white folk" should be legally denied the ability to marry those "dirty niggers". Once people were forced to become decent enough to look past that pathetic racism, we became a much more civilized society. But the religious want to drag us back into the dark ages. Yet again.
Personally, I prefer NOT to be enslaved by a bunch of people who can't understand the very basics of the science method, or understand the difference between an "abstract thought or speculation" and a "scientific theory".
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