Why do Catholics have to prop up this concept of original sin? Because Jesus’s sacrifice makes no sense if it wasn’t done to atone for a universal crime. We all must have inherited that sin, or some of us are innocent and Jesus was irrelevant to us. Can’t have that! That would mean we weren’t subject to the domain of Christianity.
Of course, even if it were true that all 6.7 billion of us were descended from just two people, that doesn’t mean the whole principle of atonement by a proxy blood sacrifice isn’t stupid and irrational. I personally don’t feel that I need redemption from some imaginary crime that my many times great grandmother committed (I’d actually say “You go, Grandma!” if I could — disobeying a psychopathic tyrant seems rather commendable to me), and even if I did, having some mysterious third party get tortured to death does not alleviate my guilt in the slightest.
PZ Myers, Sunday Sacrilege: Cant can’t : Pharyngula
I’ve always thought there were curious parallels between the names in sci-fi, fantasy and the Bible (and other mythologies). I’m going to go out on a limb and presume that SF and fantasy authors have always used Biblical/mythological-sounding names (and naming conventions) to add to their stories a particular gravity. “Balaam, son of Beor”, for instance: if you’d never heard this name in its Biblical context and were asked to guess where it came from, you could be excused for guessing it was from a Middle Earth-ish sword & sorcery novel or a space opera in which an advanced race encounter a primitive & barbarous people on a distant planet.
Mandrellian, GENERAL SYSTEMS VEHICLE
Hey, so some of you may remember me (one can hope). I found this thread that some people told me last time to find when I wanted to ask a question. Since I have one, I thought I’d check in. Hope everyone is doing well.
All right. I read “Why Evolution is True” and “The Greatest Show on Earth,” as recommended by several of you. After that, I also started reading some of the stuff on Dawkins’ site, because I really liked his calm approach to the subject.
After reading there and a good bit here, I’m actually getting a little afraid, and this is where my question comes in … I can recognize the validity of evolution and that it’s true. This began to make an impact on my belief in God, but I still felt like he could have set the whole thing in motion.
But the more I read there and here, the more I’m questioning that, the more I worry that my faith may be in danger. Since you guys were so helpful the first time, I thought maybe I could come to you to ask a couple of questions again …
- I truly don’t mean this to be insulting, so please don’t take it that way, but what is your motivation to live a moral, upstanding life without the guidance of the rules of God and the Bible? I know you guys do this, but I’m not sure I understand how it works without concrete guidance.
- For those of you who were once Christians (I’m guessing there are some), how did you reconcile your atheism/agnosticism with your relationship with your Christian family/friends? How do you tell them? Do you still go to church for the fellowship but just don’t pray/participate? Did you lose friends/family in your process of change?
I hope I’m not interrupting a conversation here, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading, if you actually got this far.
This post provides a fascinating glimpse at the demise of theistic beliefs. I’m so glad this person was able to challenge their own world-view, read books about evolution, and continue to ask questions.
This is a group from a church at the end of my street. Apparently they have been grouping in front of a gay couple’s house and reading their bible loudly for the past 7 years. They may have also driven a lesbian couple from the area as well by doing the same thing. Tonight most of our neighbours came out and were successful in getting them to leave. The people who go to that church don’t even live in our area! Police came by shortly thereafter.
I wonder if they could get a restraining order on these people…
Carl Sagan on the biblical God
“You see, the religious people — most of them — really think this planet is an experiment. That’s what their beliefs come down to. Some god or other is always fixing and poking, messing around with tradesmen’s wives, giving tablets on mountains, commanding you to mutilate your children, telling people what words they can say and what words they can’t say, making people feel guilty about enjoying themselves, and like that.
Why can’t the gods leave well enough alone? All this intervention speaks of incompetence. If God didn’t want Lot’s wife to look back, why didn’t he make her obedient, so she’d do what her husband told her? Or if he hadn’t made Lot such a shithead, maybe she would’ve listened to him more. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn’t he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why’s he constantly repairing and complaining?
No, there’s one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He’s not good at design, he’s not good at execution. He’d be out of business if there was any competition. ”