I've been having a religious discussion on another site that I frequent, which is mainly gauged toward the blind. I won't name any names of course, but the jist of the posts are about whether the christian god is "good" or not. I, being an atheist, (though I'm liking Hitchens' term of "antitheist") claimed that god could not be good even if he existed, because of the cruel and morally disgusting acts ordered by him in the bible. To which was replied, and I'm paraphrasing here, "I don't believe that's in the bible". So I asked the logical question, "have you ever read the bible", the answer to which was a resounding and mind boggling "not entirely". (thinking about that for too long will give you a headache, you've been warned)

   I fail to understand how one can A. claim that the bible is the word of god, and B. claim to place undying and unalterable faith in the bible, if you haven't read it. isn't reading a book the only way to truly know what is in it? I mean, I read several reviews of Moby Dick that said it was a hard book to read and that people were getting lost. Because of that, I put off reading it for a while, but I never once, in the time I hadn't read it, claimed that it was a terrible or good book, because I didn't know. I certainly didn't base a religion on it. I later read it, and found it to be a beautiful book; though I still haven't based a religion on it.

   How do christians claim to have such faith, if they've never read the bible? Or worse still, claim that we atheists are A. taking these verses out of context, or B. that they're symbollic or metaphorical. Please show me a verse wehre it says its ok to take a verse metaphorically or symbollically, and show me on what basis you are making the claim that said verse is symbollic or metaphorical. I've never seen a verse that does either of those things.

   I do not understand this claim. Perhaps someone on here will, but my logical mind apparently does not have the capacity to comprehend something so idiotic as to claim a book is absolute truth, without having read it.

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Comment by Great Dane on August 6, 2011 at 10:14am

Short answer: they are dishonest and do not understand the value of evidence based beliefs.

Comment by Rick on August 6, 2011 at 10:39am

Ha, Martin is always so negative. I tend to see the majority as being ignorant rather than outright dishonest or deceitful. After all, ignorance is bliss. It also speaks about the power of blind faith. They’re conditioned to not have to think for themselves and those doing the “thinking” for the masses are conditioned to find ways to make the fairytales true. It’s just a self-perpetuating lie. I think most aren’t dishonest, they’ve just believed the shit for so long that the lie becomes the truth.

Comment by Cody Kirchner on August 6, 2011 at 10:49am

   I of course agree with both sentaments here. Certainly the vast majority are merely stupid enough to buy into it, and someone has to have been dishonest somewhere along the way, but it still begs a question. Why doesn't a logical part of the brain say, "Maybe we should find out what's actually in this book, before we put our absolute faith in it". Even as an atheist I didn't buy into the evolutionary theory until I'd read as much as I could on it, and had it explained to me by several scientists, and I felt I understood it. That just seems logical. One has to wonder what it is that causes that part of the religious mind to go on a permanent coffee break.

Comment by Great Dane on August 6, 2011 at 10:57am

Oh dear Rick, there is a lot to be pissed about in this world where the majority of the population are deluded irrational religious people. Not believing in what the evidence presents is clearly being dishonest to one self, no matter how long the lie persists.

Comment by Rick on August 6, 2011 at 11:10am

 Cody: Your biggest mistake is thinking that the religious mind and the rational mind are equal in terms of their capabilities. You have to factor in the power of indoctrination and blind faith. This weakens certain areas of the mind… those that deal with logic and rational thought.

If it helps you wrap your mind around it, think of logic like a vestigial limb. Through lack of use, the religious mind has “evolved” to exclude most forms of logic and rational thought. At the very least one can consider it to be like a severely atrophied muscle. You may never get a satisfactory answer simply because all aspects of religion defy logic.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on August 6, 2011 at 11:22am

Depending on which cult the Christian belongs to depends on how much of the bible can be seen as metaphorical. Generally the more fundamental they are the more literal they see it. A good test of their knowledge is to ask them which book of the O.T. does not mention God. Answer Song of Solomon (also Ester I think).

Tell them Jesus wants them to read it. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2Tim 2:15. That usually shuts them up for a bit.

Whether or not it is to be taken literally or not is really irrelevant because it is so full of contradictions. See this also for a laugh.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on August 26, 2011 at 7:29pm

Personally I think the only way to maintain the belief that a book is inerrant is to ensure you NEVER read the entire thing.  I don't care if we are talking about a science text book - if you actually read any book, cover to cover, checking the facts and claims, and thinking about what you are reading, you are going to realize the author was not perfect.

 

Anyway, Christianity isn't about making up your own mind, it's about having it made up for you - that's the entire appeal.

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