Originally posted by 3_Libras
If the Bible was to be written today, how different do you think it would be? And be honest. Because it would have to take into account a number of
different things, that just werent able to be foreseen when it was written.
First, lemme respond to your question about the "man up in clouds". What that image is is a children's version of God; the God that is observing
each and every one of as a judge of our hearts and actions. But, if we are the children of God, then that's how we're going to want to approach the
question, anyway. To "personify" God.
And I know that this probably isn't where the OP was going, but let me, as an agnostic, suggest this anyway:
Rather than getting into a debate about my god vs your god vs his god, etc, what if we're all in search of the same God, which is the God that can
answer the unanswerable questions that we have about life, morality, physics, chemistry and, especially, existence itself.
If we look at all of the world's religions through human history -- whether they are monotheistic or polytheistic -- we can see, I think, that what
the great disciplined religions have in common is their God's/Gods' moral teachings and life lessons. Just as different cultures may all come to
the same conclusion that water always flows downhill, they all seem to reach the same conclusion that homocide is wrong/evil/immoral/whatever.
So, if we can agree that there are certain inescapable physical truths about the way magnets attract certain metals and that fire will always burn
wood, we can agree on certain inescapable non-physical truths about how each of us can live a righteous life with each other.
I would say that the various religions -- while being very different from each other in terms of specific dogma -- are all seeking the same
understanding of our good ol' human condition.
To ask, for example, "if God exists then why is there so much suffering in the world?", is to miss the entire reason that "God" exists: to ease
our suffering in this world.
Can faith alone ease our suffering? I believe that it can and I believe it does for many people of all those seemingly dogmatically irreconcilable
I think that, rather than asking "why in the world would you believe in God when there is no proof?", the question maybe could be, "why in the
world is God showing up in every disparate human culture that's ever existed?". The answer might be simply that we are inclined to question the
very nature of, not only our existence, but, existence itself.
So, how would the Bible be written if it were written today?
Hmmm. Probably a lot like physics, chemistry and biology textbooks.
But our basic underlying questions -- the questions that have revealed to us so many physical, chemical and biological "truths" -- still go
unanswered in those books. The answers we seek may never be revealed to us physical, mortal, carbon-based people things. Just as we can measure
energy only by what we can see it doing to matter (our "physical" lives), we can measure God only by what God does in our dynamic, "spiritual"