*and Asian and Austrian and other non-Christians.
I remember when I was younger having a conversation with an adult. I am going be vague about who this adult is because who she is isn't really important. Suffice it to say that she was someone whose opinion on things about religion and god I felt was authoritative. I was very curious about this whole "being saved" deal.
She told how it worked and what it meant and that was fine, but of course I get to a point where I ask about other people.
"Can anyone be saved?" I asked.
"Yes, of course." She said. "As long as they hear the word of god."
"What if they don't hear it?" I asked.
"Then they can't be saved." she added. "But everyone knows about god."
"What about babies in Africa or China (which were the far away places to me then), what if they don't hear it because they can't read English or don't have TVs and they don't know." I asked, I was worried about innocent babies burning in hell.
"Well they won't be saved." she said. I think she knew where I was taking this.
"That's not fair, what about people in the Dark Ages in Japan that never heard this and never would have? Did they all go to Hell too?" I was not happy.
"I don't want to talk about this anymore." She finally said.
Babies. Burning in hell. That's what I learned about a so called loving and caring god.
Now before you assume this was a one off deal, I had the same argument with friends in high school and then again (only with more agreement) with friends in college.
I remember asking people variously about Ghandi, or other ancient "good" people or kids that never did anything wrong. Yup according to Christians, each and everyone of them is in Hell getting ass-raped by Beelzebub.
My first reaction was one of typical pre-teenage/teen rebellion, fuck that shit. If this so-called god wants me to bend over and kiss his ass he can kiss mine!
Of course later, when I got over that, I realized that this whole idea of hearing the word of god to be saved was made back in the time when the world was different place, where the only people you wanted "saved" were the ones near you. The early Christians really didn't care about their neighbors and then could only think in terms of a few hundred miles, not the size of the world as we know it now (though the Greeks did know back then).
Christianity fell apart for me on it's hypocrisy. Once I looked into it then the other religions also began to fall apart for equally valid reasons.
I think a case may be made that even Hitler doesn't deserve eternal torture in hell. Nothing done in our short life should be the basis for judgment in an ever-lasting and unchanging afterlife.ReplyDelete
But, yeah, babies? Ridiculous. All religious people shy away from talking about some aspect of their faith because it is either indefensible or unexplainable.
I think that it's funny how reading your blog reminds me of all the things through my Catholic up bringing that led me to reject religion as well. The same logical questions that I asked were met with the same "I don't want to talk about this anymore" answers from the "experts." Just have to share a quick one. Being a slightly rebellious metal head in the 80's I wanted to have long hair. The school said that "proper men" had short hair and so our hair had to be short. One day I asked one of the nuns, "If proper men had short hair, why does that statue of Jesus have long hair?" That landed me with a week of detention. =DDelete
I've had a wandering path to atheism. My father gave me a bible saying that if I wanted to read it, it wasn't a bad book. I know he meant that it wasn't a bad piece of fiction. I did read it. I asked questions, early and often, that never seemed to have valid answers. One of the biggest I still recall is WHO did Cain and Able marry? I mean, they got married and had kids. With whom? So according to the bible, we're all just a bunch of inbred idiots? I know it's a petty question now, as an adult, but as a little kid, I was thinking these people were out of their minds. It seemed that every question was always either "the bible said so" or "the devil". The devil/Satan is the escape goat for every bad thing that happens or every "god's plan" that doesn't come to fruition. My brief time "believing" was always out of fear and never out of faith.ReplyDelete
And sorry I haven't kept up more with your writing, but love it all.
Thank you for visiting my site and taking the time to consider my views on life. I have read your 3 part series and found it interesting, but your reasoning for rejecting the existence of God seemed a bit vague and I am not sure I follow how you substantiate your claims. I was wondering if you have read the Bible for yourself or if your statement that it can't be true is based on what you have just heard? I am curious as to why you would say it can't be true? (just an interjection, for starters, the kings, nations, battles, history... recorded in the Bible have been substantiated. If you study the history of other nations like the Greeks, Romans, Babylonians.... their records line up with the Bible. The Lachish letters, Babylonian Chronicles, Tablets uncovered near the Ishtar gate....)ReplyDelete
I have to interject on the baby thing. Those people you spoke to were greviously wrong! I trily wonder if they had ever read the Bible. How would they explain King David's reply to his servants when his son died. "He shall not return to me, but I shall go to him." Babies and kids do not go to hell, they go to heaven, not do the mentally challenged like those with downsyndrom.....
A child telling a lie, or an adult telling a lie for that matter isn't what sends them to hell, it is man's rejection of God that condemns him. A child or baby who has never made the choice to reject God goes to heaven. Salvation is about authority and submission to one higher than yourself. It is a free gift and a choice all men are given.
If you don't mind me interjecting what I believe, with no intention of offence, sin is simply a byproduct of a fallen world. We are all born sinners. A baby doesn't have to be taught to throw a tantrum, or a kid to fight with his sibling, it is natural. The choice to love, and do what is moral and upright takes a concerted effort by man. Yes there are many "good" people on this earth, some better than those who claim to be christians, but the only thing that keeps utter lawlessness, corruption, and the demise of our civilization from happening is the fact we have established our own earthly form of authority with our own laws and rules of morality and the subsequent punishment for breaking that law. Were there no laws, no authority to enforce those laws, and no punishment for when the laws are broken we wouldn't more than a few generations!
Please feel free to not list this comment publicly. I don't think you got very good answers as a youngster regarding God, and I welcome any questions or thoughts you might have. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
A interesting link if your game
I am glad you read all the parts. There is obviously more to them than what I put down here, but this is good enough. Actually I have read the bible. Many times in fact. And I have read many alternate versions too including some that had books in them not commonly found. I have always said the best way to turn someone into an Atheist is have them read the bible.ReplyDelete
You do realize that your argument is extremely poor form. You don't like what I have said so you accuse me of not being able to understand what I read. That comes up again later.
On the historical accuracy of the bible. It was written at a point in time and some of the stories are from then. By your logic then I can conclude this: We are now finding evidence that the city of Troy existed. We know there are Greeks today. Therefore the Trojan War happened. If that is true then the cause of the war must also be true. QED, the Goddess Aphrodite, Athena and Eris are real.
The Baby thing: The woman was sitting outside reading a bible. Her father was a Southern Baptist preacher. Again she said something you don't agree with therefore she must not have read it right.
You can believe what you like. Freud said humankind is flawed as well, but Jung didn't. But here is the fact. You claim laws come from a higher authority, but in truth we had laws and lawful society LONG before there ever was a bible or before people ever invented the Judo-Christian god.
Our sense of morality is an evolutionary by product of our desire to cohabitate with other humans. We are good because good people get along better in towns.
Your comment was published and will stay for all to read.
Interesting that you will not do me the same courtesy on your own site (which is why you came here).
Your last comment. You are so willing to assume that I got "wrong information". Well maybe, but the fact is that after that I went out and sought my own information of these things. I read, I researched, I have looked into and read the holy texts of scores of religions. They all lead me back to same place. There is no God.
Maybe the information you have is in error?
In fact it now looks like you deleted my reply to yours completely.Delete
Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my thoughts. You will notice that in response to the comment you left on my site a few days back (which is public) I noted how interesting it is that two people with totally different world views can look at exactly the same information and see life drastically different. My purpose for not making your comment immediately public was not intimidation, fear or lack of decency, but to wait to see what your preference was as far as allowing our conversation to be public. My intention here isn't a verbal argument, to humiliate, or show your readers why you are wrong. I simply wanted to share with you that I feel you made some initial assumptions about God based on some horrid statements by misled people. I am very much willing to engage in a peaceful thought provoking discussion, but not a verbal tirade that accomplishes nothing. That was my intention when I told you to feel free to e-mail me and keep the initial comment private.Delete
I never accused you of not reading the Bible. I was just curious as to whether your statements were from your own reading or others because you made claims about the fallacy and unbelievable teachings in the Bible without stating any. My question was not meant to offend, the question was an earnest question because MANY atheists I have conversed with have said the same things you did, but often times they had never read the Bible for themselves, or had only read portions of it. I was curious as to what camp you were in. It is very frustrating to discuss with a person who only uses certain verses that fit their arguments or who only use the arguments of others as they remember them.
I have e-mailed you the rest of my response because I keep getting a red box stating I can only use 4,096 characters. I was going to try and cut out some content but I am not willing to part with any and it is well over 6,000 characters : ) I am long winded like that.
Thanks again for being willing to engage in a civil discussion.