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I Owe You Thanks And An Apology

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on August 12, 2003 10:08:10 UTC

Dear Duane,

You made it clear that I have to accept the bible literally if we are to have a discussion.

I do not, entirely. I only do so in parts.

And yet I went ahead and presented my views. I apologize for trying in some sense to alter your religious views. That is not my intention and I will desist. You made it clear what conditions you are willing to discuss these issues with me and I totally disregarded them.

On the other hand I want to thank you for giving me the chance to think about whether the Torah is logical or not if taken literally. I have never thought about the Torah from that perspective. So you gave me the opportunity to present the case that based on modern astronomy and physics, the Torah is not logical if taken literally; and you stimulated me to look at the Torah from that perspective. I thank you.

In reply to your question in the above post, as to whether I can allow such a possibility- I am afraid that it would be illogical for me to do so.

So I think it's best if we just agree to disagree and not discuss religion any further. You certainly are not going to change my beliefs, and I do not want to change yours. We just have different priorities. Mine is science and yours is belief that the bible is written by god.

However, I do take some aspects of the bible literally, whereas fundamentalists do not. Jesus said that you have to keep all the laws of Moses to get into heaven. I take that literally where christians do not.

And I have to thank you again for making me realize something else I now take literally in the New Testament. Paul said that you have to die in order to be reborn into heaven. Born Again Christians have interpreted this statement to mean that this process has to happen in your present life. Indeed it seems that Paul actually thought that was so.

But if you take those words literally, if you assume that Paul heard those exact words from god, and then tried to make sense out of them, it seems to me that Paul got the wrong interpretation.

If you take those words literally,
"you have to die to be born again into heaven"
I would presume that a physical death is required. You cannot get into heaven while still alive.

But that interpretation seems too obvious. Nobody gets into heaven without first dying. Perhaps that is why Paul was prompted to his interpretation.

Another possibility, that is not so obvious, is that you have to die and be reborn again into another life, in order to get into heaven, upon your second death.

So you can see now where I am going with this.

1.The idea that you can die and be reborn while still alive is not logical to me.

2.The idea that you have to die to get into heaven is too obvious to be meaningful.

3.But the idea that you have to be reborn into another physical life in order to get into heaven is a possibility and quite logical to me.

In fact, it brings christianity into consistency with all other religions except for Islam. All other religions believe in reincarnation, including Judaism, except there it is called transmigration; and to be truthful, beliefs are not so important in Judaism.

Now I do not expect you to accept this interpretation. But I want to thank you for prompting me to think about biblical literalism and the fact in my mind that I take the bible literally in parts- just different parts from fundamentalists- who in those parts in my opinion do not take the bible literally.

So I will not pursue these subjects with you. But I am sad that I will no longer have your stimulation to firm up my belief system.

That by the way should be the purpose of a forum like this one. We should all agree to disagree, but use the opportunity to re-establish the logic of our own beliefs.

Sincerely,

Richard

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