reply to post by Grimpachi
I hope you'll allow me to explain my position as honestly and openly as I know how.
For me, it starts with the New Testament. What historians and scientists have told us is that, by their analysis, we can be pretty sure we have the
words that were originally written. One way they do that is by checking the copies. If 100 people copy from the original writing, the parts that are
the same in all the copies can be safely assumed to be in the original.
By an analysis of style, it has been concluded that four different people wrote the Gospels. Four people writing about events will give you a more
complete picture than just one.
The idea that this was written as fiction has been pretty well ruled out. That kind of "realistic" fiction, including all the mundane details,
hadn't been invented yet. It's nearly impossible that four people would invent it at the same time, then it would be unused as a writing style for
centuries. Besides, fiction means inventing things, things that didn't happen or didn't exist. The people who saw these letters were in a perfect
position to say "That's not what happened," and some writings were set aside as not legitimate. But not the ones we have today.
I could go on, but the final result for me is that the New Testament has more evidence for it's authenticity than not, and I want my thoughts and
beliefs to line up with the truth. The New Testament is the basis for Christianity, so, here I am.
But your objection seems to be that it's perfectly alright for intelligent people to be very religious, but society as a whole shouldn't be. That
position confuses me, so I assume I misunderstood it.
Religion is an obsolete thought process? I wonder when that happened. I'm guessing it must have been sometime in the last two centuries. People
all around the world believe in some kind of god in overwhelming numbers, and always have. Even isolated tribes have come up with their own form of
deity, uninfluenced by another culture.
Tool to control the masses? To do what? Christianity teaches me to love my neighbor and my God. It has provided me with a book of inspiration and
doesn't push conformity in my life. I won't attack anyone over their beliefs. True, some will, but you're talking about getting rid of religion,
not getting rid of people who fail to live up to their religion. (Of course, for Christians, that's all of us.) If the religion was controlling me
to kill unbelievers or infidels, then, yeah, I'd have the same problem you do. But it doesn't.
Satan worship is a religion, so is Islam. I don't imply that Islam is Satanism, but certainly there are religions which refuse to accept and love
their fellow man in some circumstances. I see Islam as different from Christianity in that way. As I've said before, you don't see beheadings in
the name of Presbyterianism. The most that will happen is you might get three bean casserole thrown at you.
Christianity and perhaps most religion, is a force to bring people from other countries together. If a Catholic walks into a church in Africa, he
knows what is going on and knows he is a brother to them. Similarly, if the Dali Lama speaks, Christians and others, hear the true things he is
Perhaps, it is just media reports, but I don't see Islam as "playing well with others." Nothing in my reading indicates that they would tolerate a
community of a million average Americans or Jews or Atheists in their midst.
But I've gone on long enough. (Too long, probably.) If there are some areas you'd like to discuss, you know I'm available for you.