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Re: [KC-Midtown-FreeThinkers] Dear Religion

From: Fred
Sent on: Thursday, August 16, 2012 10:50 PM
Marlys, 

Don't have time to go into a long dissertation on all the cans of worms you're opening up, and I suspect nobody wants me to.  But let's talk next time we see each other at a meetup, because all these things do have another side beside the one you've heard.  I can't do them justice here, but I can tell you that: 

1.  It's not picking and choosing when this is the way most mature Christians I know (the ones who know their bibles) handle prayer.  When Jesus says "if you ask anything in my name," for example, the "name" is important, because names in ancient times had meanings having to do with people's character, so asking according to things that would be in line with God character is important: meaning we can't order Him around.

2. I know this is everybody's favorite and for me to offer any explanation will make some people hopping mad.  But for those who have ears to hear ... Those "kill everybody" passages (so common in atheist books and uncommon in most of the Bible, where outside those incidents we have the more general principles in Leviticus:  "Love your neighbor as yourself," and "Love the alien in your midst; remember you were aliens in the land of Egypt") have to do with what was common hyperbolic ancient warfare language, mostly at the special time of the conquest of Canaan.  Not unlike today's sporting language:  "We're gonna slaughter 'em, we'll annihilate 'em).  We know it was an exaggeration because in each case when everyone belonging to that group was supposed to be destroyed (e.g., the Amalekites), they had to go back and fight them again later, sometimes in the next chapter!  Other writings, such as the Merneptah Stele of the Egyptians, used the same kind of hyperbolic warfare language/gloating when referring to how they had wiped out the Israelites: "Israel is no more; no one is left for descendants," way back in the early 1200s BCE, when Israel was just beginning as a nation.  And when Israel was just beginning as a tiny nation, by the way, surrounded by stronger powers all around, what they needed, very practically, from their prophets and their God was assurance of survival (= military victory).  Very politically incorrect today, I know.  Doesn't change the facts about what their needs were at the time, or the kind of language they were used to using at that time.

3.  I'm not throwing out any of the Bible.  I just believe in seeking the intentions of the original writers in their ancient contexts.  

Speaking of writing, I need to get back to my own.

Fred


On Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 5:01 PM, Marlys Kummer Doerflinger <[address removed]> wrote:
But the bible and Fundamentalist  Christian relatives say this is true.  Isn't that strange believers pick and choose too. 

One of them also said that what god says to do is Moral.  They didn't not know that god said to kill children, babies and  women.

Why not throw all of that book out if you 
are going to throw part of it out?  I certainly would not say I believed in the bible and then turn around and say that I did not believe something written that book.  

Marlys

Sent from iPhone 



On Aug 16, 2012, at 11:45 AM, Fred <[address removed]> wrote:

1) Answers prayers    I don't believe in a God who can be ordered around.

2) Gives us blessings.  This is subjective (which doesn't make it "wrong" - it's the nature of the matter) but I look at life as a blessing.  I did nothing to deserve it.  (I know, I know, there are a lot of "un-blessings," too)

3) Marriage better because he's at the center of it.  Wasn't at the center of mine. 


Why so many people think they can name it and claim it?  Because there's a sucker born every minute.

Fred



On Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 7:44 PM, Marlys Kummer Doerflinger <[address removed]> wrote:
To test to see if god exists, the first thing you would need to do is tell us what this god does. 

If he just creates everything and does nothing more, then it might be more difficult to test if he does exist. 

However most Christians believe he does more than that. According to some, including the authors of books in the bible he; 

1) Answers prayers

2) Gives us blessings

3) makes a marriage better because he is the center of it

There maybe more things this god does.   But these seem to be the things I have heard over and over.  

If you will search the net you will find that there are tests which have been done to test the first claim.  There are also statics which show that the 2nd and 3rd claims are invalid.  

As far as the "personal relationship' claim which many tout,  since these people have that type of relationship with the big guy, why are there so many  denominations each claiming that 'you name it' is what god has told them to do? 

Marlys & Gene


Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 15, 2012, at 3:28 PM, Kansas City Skeptic <[address removed]> wrote:

Fred wrote>>>>>>>> So most of what you say is arguing with a straw man version of Christianity, not mine.


Fred, you need to stop pretending to know what you don't know. Or rather pretending to know that it's OK to create your own version of Christianity in light of complete and utter probabilistic world and uncertainties that reign the world.

At best, your "creator/cosmology designer" exists but what is the probability of him/her/it being a Judeo Christian god? You don't have a variable to test and have any controls.

Hence, you are arguing for why circles are not squares or rather in your case that cycles are ellipses with two foci in the same location - god and scientific understanding of the universe. 






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