10/15/99

Hi,

God gives us freedom, even freedom to misuse the Bible. I'm not understanding your fundamental thinking. Do you reason that God (if He exists) lacks the power to force us to believe? Or do you reason that God (if He exits) should force us to believe? or ???

My assessment is that the worst Bible abusers are not Christians but rather those who reject the Bible yet utilize it as a way to achieve their personal objectives. Of course, achieving their personal objectives usually means they pretend to be Christians.

I agree that much of Christianity is unoriginal. I would be very suspicious if it was completely novel; that God revealed Himself only to Jews then Christians. The Bible talks about other cultures as having connections to Jehovah, the Ninevites (sp?), for example, in the story of Jonah. However, Christianity is much richer and complete than any of it's earlier predecessors. What document could you offer to compete with the Bible?

No, my little story concerning my grandfather was not in any way a proof that God exists; it was not intended as such. It merely illustrates the complexity with which He operates (as opposed to limiting Him to mere words in the Bible).

Coincidence, as an act of the god 'chance', is an atheist construct, compliant with the atheistic worldview. In your sense of the word, there is no such thing as coincidence to the Christian.

You wrote:

"You say that you weren't referring to intellectual curiosity in demanding things of god, but the study of nature and science will inevitably follow. Christianity does not support much curiosity at all, which has been clearly demonstrated throughout its history."

We can debate this if you wish. Christianity depicts a God of order, not a God of chaos, whose universe can be understood by humans. Christianity ultimately refers to a reason behind everything while atheism ultimately refers to random chance; i.e. no reason or rationality behind anything.

You also wrote:

"I was reading this over, and I realized that I have never heard Christianity presented in quite this way. Frankly, I find it arrogant and tyrranical. But more >importantly, it obviously illustrates that Christianity discourages any type of freethought."

I'm not sure what you find arrogant and tyranical. Is it me, my method of presentation or God or all of the above? If you let me know, I'll try to respond.

Cheers,
Lynn

10/15/99

Hello,

The Christian god supposedly has power to make everyone believe in the gospel message. If you were to believe the bible, you'd know that god would have made it clear to everyone by now what that message was, and we'd all be Christians. But do I think a god should force everyone to believe? That's up to that god (or goddess). It stands to reason that if a god creates a message that is interpreted in many different ways, then gives us freedom to choose what we want, then sends us to hell if we don't interpret the message right, it's not a very bright god to begin with. Rather, what I have found is that Christians will use the "freedom of choice" defense to explain why there are different religions and why people interpret the bible in so many different ways. Take a look at other religions - how many different ways can you translate them? Barring the few mystery cults, how many different sects of Roman paganism were there? What makes you Lutheran instead of Catholic? A different interpretation that you can only assume to be the correct one. Are you suggesting that only Lutherans are real Christians?

I don't think it's quite fair that you say many people aren't Christians (ie the "worst Bible abusers"). I agree that they use the bible to achieve their personal objectives, and I don't think that the bible promotes what the most violent Christians do. But, they are still Christians. They have translated the bible in a different way than you, you both say you're right, and there's no way to know for sure unless your god comes down and tells you so. If the violent Christians who protest at homosexual funerals, blow up abortion clinics, and otherwise promote hate are not Christians in your view, than what are they? Certainly they're not atheists. The personal objectives that these people have are based on what they have gotten from the bible and what they truly believe is what their god wants them to do. They are Christians, though they are different from you.

How is Christianity richer and more complete than any other religion? What makes it so? Is it because it contains more information? Is it because it contains layer upon layer of peoples' stories? It seems that this only makes it muddled; I would prefer a cut and dry religion. But you admit that Christianity is unoriginal, so I assume you know that lots of gods have been born of virgins (even Alexander the Great), many have been nailed up to various things (usually trees), and that the Eucharist happens here and there (Celtic and Roman paganism). Also that December 25 was the date chosen for Jesus' birth in an attempt to erase paganism and that Easter is pagan as well. What makes a religion like this so rich and complete? To me it seems more old and used.

I can't really argue with you over "god made it happen" and coincidence. That's probably just preference, since Christians can believe in coincidence and/or luck, and I suppose freethinkers can believe in luck as well, although I don't. Happy coincidences like yours do happen to atheists and people of other religions, and I don't think too much of a god who lets them happen to these people and then says, 'but you're still going to hell!'

What is it that you wanted to debate? Whether or not Christianity supports curiosity?

In the statement of yours I quoted previously, I was not calling you arrogant or tyrranical. Rather, it was your presentation of your god. I don't know how anyone can accept a god like this. Or the son of a god. The person you describe is not the kind of person we worship, it's the kind of person we assassinate as soon as possible.

Meretricula

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