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Aberrant Christianity Christian

Objections to God: harm done in the name of religion?


I found this bit of lengthy excerpt quite relevant while reading Francis collins’, The language of God.

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A major stumbling block for many earnest seekers is the compelling evidence throughout history that terrible things have been done in the name of religion. This applies to virtually all faiths at some point, including those that argue for compassion and nonviolence among their principal tenets. Given such examples of raw abusive power, violence, and hypocrisy, how can anyone subscribe to the tenets of the faith promoted by such perpetrators of evil?

There are two answers to this dilemma. First of all, keep in mind that many wonderful things have also been done in the
name of religion. The church (and here I use the term genetically, to refer to the organized institutions that promote a particular faith, without regard to which faith is being described) has many times played a critical role in supporting justice and benevolence. As just one example, consider how religious leaders have worked to relieve people from oppression, from Moses’ leading the Israelites out of bondage to William Wilberforce’s ultimate victory in convincing the English Parliament to oppose the practice of slavery to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s leading the civil rights movement in the United States, for which he gave his life.

But the second answer brings us back to the Moral Law, and to the fact that all of us as human beings have fallen short
of it. The church is made up of fallen people. The pure, clean water of spiritual truth is placed in rusty containers, and the subsequent failings of the church down through the centuries should not be projected onto the faith itself, as if the water had been the problem. It is no wonder that those who assess the truth and appeal of spiritual faith by the behavior of any particular church often find it impossible to imagine themselves joining up. Expressing hostility toward the French Catholic Church at the dawning of the French Revolution, Voltaire wrote, “Is it any wonder that there are atheists in the world, when the church behaves so abominably?”

It is not difficult to identify examples where the church has promoted actions that fly in the face of principles its own faith should have sustained. The Beatitudes spoken by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount were ignored as the Christian church carried out violent Crusades in the Middle Ages and pursued a series of inquisitions afterward. While the prophet Muhammad never himself used violence in responding to persecutors, Islamic jihads, dating to the earliest of his followers and including present-day violent attacks such as that of September 11, 2001, have created the false impression that the Islamic faith is intrinsically violent. Even followers of supposedly nonviolent faiths such as Hinduism and Buddhism occasionally engage in violent confrontation, as is currently occurring in Sri Lanka.

And it is not only violence that sullies the truth of religious faith. Frequent examples of gross hypocrisy among religious
leaders, made evermore visible by the power of the media, cause many skeptics to conclude that there is no objective truth or goodness to be found in religion. Perhaps even more insidious and widespread is the emergence in many churches of a spiritually dead, secular faith, which strips out all of the numinous aspects of traditional belief, presenting a version of spiritual life that is all about social events and/or tradition, and nothing about the search for God.

Is it any wonder, then, that some commentators point to religion as a negative force in society, or in the words of Karl Marx, “the opiate of the masses”? But let’s be careful here. The great Marxist experiments in the Soviet Union and in Mao’s China, aiming to establish societies explicitly based upon atheism, proved capable of committing at least as much, and probably more, human slaughter and raw abuse of power than the worst of all regimes in recent times. In fact, by denying the existence of any higher authority, atheism has the now-realized potential to free humans completely from any responsibility not to oppress one another.

So, while the long history of religious oppression and hypocrisy is profoundly sobering, the earnest seeker must look beyond the behavior of flawed humans in order to find the truth. Would you condemn an oak tree because its timbers had been used to build battering rams? Would you blame the air for allowing lies to be transmitted through it? Would you judge Mozart’s The Magic Flute on the basis of a poorly rehearsed performance by fifth-graders? If you had never seen a real sunset over the Pacific, would you allow a tourist brochure as a substitute?

Would you evaluate the power of romantic love solely in the light of an abusive marriage next door? No. A real evaluation of the truth of faith depends upon looking at the clean, pure water, not at the rusty containers.

 

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Categories
Atheism Atheism against Religion Atheist Morality Christian Morality Philosophy

Is Atheism dangerous? A comparison against faith


There have been twenty-eight countries in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by regimes with avowed atheists at the helm, beginning with the First French Republic and ending with the four atheist regimes currently extant: the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. These twenty- eight historical regimes have been ruled by eighty-nine atheists, of whom more than half have engaged in democidal acts of the sort committed by Stalin and Mao and are known to have murdered at least 200,000 of their own citizens.

The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined. The historical record of collective atheism

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Horror Short Story

The thing about fear: an excerpt


Image source Wikipedia commons

This is from a new short story, I am writing but I am stuck with it for now. I do not know how to end it. Well, that is not true, I know the ending I just do not like it right now. Well, here is an excerpt. Hope you like it, I like it thus far.

The man looked at the boy carefully, watching his movements. He was not just a spiritual counsellor,  he had graduated with a psychology degree and then later he had joined the parish, adapted a life of celibacy and was now close to retirement.

He was trying to register anything odd but so far all he had seen was fear. The boy was afraid, terribly. This was troubling. The man knew first hand what fear could do. It was the strongest element to break one’s spirit; fear was something that each man had. It was probably the only thing which all men shared in common, regardless of their race, color or creed. Fear was the curse that humans had when they were born but the strange thing about fear was, it was different for everyone. Some fears were harmless, he knew that. But even a harmless fear, when it starts to eat you from the inside, is a dangerous one. A single mother termite could eat a full scale wood home in nine thousand years. And that was how fear operated, slowly and surely. Sometimes, the damage done was irrecoverable.

He hoped the boy would tell him. Most of the times, children are afraid of their own imagination. Just past month he had convinced a child that there was no such thing as a monster under his bed.

In part he was telling the truth but he had also lied. It was true there was no monster under his bed, the boy had just seen two scary movies back to back and so he was afraid.

But the man also knew that monsters existed, not in the same sense as people assumed them to be but nonetheless. They were mostly seen by children too.

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Atheism Bible Christian Doodles Humor Morality

You should read Sam Harris…


 

Click the cartoon to enlarge it. 

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Atheism Atheism: A Logical Analysis Bible Christian Morality

Lets define ownership: is stealing food – not stealing?


Hey guys, I got some interesting feedback on my last article Lets define ownership: a lesson in morality and logic

Jeff from the caveat lector thinks there are problems in my argument and he disagrees with my point. You can read his response to my original post here Jeff’s response.

Now you can go on and read the Jeff’s response and my responses on Jeff’s post, to it; but for the sake of you guys, I thought I’d share this with you too. I am just going to copy past a few lines from Jeff’s response which I believe are his main points, you can read the rest yourself.  I believe Jeff made two points.

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Atheism Atheist Morality Bible Christian Morality

Morality, Holocaust, and the Athiest


In a recent discussion on a forum, I was given a statement with regards to morality by an atheist who was arguing for subjective morality.

The statement was:

“… something is correct if the majority says it’s correct and if society chooses to enforce that rule.”

When I asked him that would he stand by the same rule, if applied to WWII Nazi Germany and the resulting Holocaust?

I was met with silence.

Am I the only one or you also think that there is something completely wrong with this statement?

In fact to be honest, it’s not only, not right, it’s not even wrong, it’s retarded.

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Atheism Atheism against Religion Atheism: A Logical Analysis Atheist Morality Bible Christian Human Suffering Suffering

Why we suffer? an objection to God…


Suffering

The biggest issue has been and quite probably, always will be the issue of suffering and an omnipotent God.
Most have already abandoned the “evil” issue since they realize that without God there is on quantifier for ‘evil”.
But suffering, especially of the innocent, is always the big one.
While some “lower” atheist still try to go with the “Jesus myths” and such, that these have been discredited even by Bart Ehrman, has pretty much put a nail in that coffin and are not used by the “higher” atheists. The “rational” atheist tries to make it clear that there is NO proof that God exists and while there MAY be evidence of “something”, that evidence is NOT proof and most certainly nor evidence FOR God per say.

In my view, the evil argument is 100% subjective and most atheist know that, so they don’t use it that much.
The suffering one is still used because it is an emotional one and those tend to be the best arguments for JUDGING God and if you can judge God, you can disbelief Him because you have brought him “down” to our level and hence, he is NOT God.

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Atheism Atheism against Religion Bible Christian Creation

The real problem


The real problem. Its a must read guys.

Categories
Aberrant Christianity Atheism against Religion Atheism: A Logical Analysis

On sin, forgiveness, Hitler and the pedophile: the on going debate of who goes to heaven.


Hi Rachel, If I may inject my own perspective here, I am going to address some of the points you made here https://johnadavid.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/will-god-not-accept-us-in-his-kingdom-if-we-sin-as-christians/#comment-72,

I am going to break it down. It is going to be a long post. I think we should go step by step. Lets define what we are addressing. In this post, I am talking about sin, the average joe, Hitler and forgiveness. How God treats sinners and the things related to it. Next we’ll move to confession, repentance, being sorry and being saved. I think the below should be enough to be digested first, through and through and then we will proceed forward. I would appreciate if you can keep your thoughts to the points I have discussed, we will get on with the others a little later.

I am not asking you to to accept theism as truth but namely that what are your thoughts on the following?

  • Is any thought new to you? in the sense that you can treat something in a new light perhaps?
  • In your opinion would it make sense, up-till the point that I have discussed; and what will be your objections to any logical explanations below?

What I am NOT looking for is:

  • emotional appeals to what seems unjust by any non-theistic perspective
  • hasty conclusions.
  • A one liner which says “I dont believe in your sky daddy so all of this is crap.OR God is a hypocrite because he let murderers in his place but not gays. ;). Please I am well aware of these and I can tell right now, and further down in the post I’ll demonstrate why it is wrong. That this is more assumption on misinformation, faulty logic and less exploring; if you explore more and assume less you would not accuse me of something I do not hold to.