"I am dogmatic about the Bible being the inerrant word of God. So was Issac Newton and a host of other pre-19th century scientists." Bzrd.
This is an overt appeal to authority, which isn`t a good reason to believe in God. Is this statement supposed to stand on it`s own without evidence? should i accept that the bible is absolutely true just because previous scientists did? The strength of a position should be innately evident in the facts themselves, how does the bible explain things better than materialist stance?
"Hitler sought to elevate the "aryian race". His proposition was based on the humanist philosophy of evolution. If he was a student of the Bible he would have understood that "God is no respecter of persons", a concept that would have invalidated his quest for establishing racial superiority amongst the human race." Bzrd
Hitler was a highly dogmatic person. He fabricated `scientific facts` for political reasons, condemning people on the basis of race and sexual orientation. Nevermind the bible, if Hitler was a true student of science/evolution, he would`ve known that genetically, race has nothing to do with inferiority or superiority - There is no `higher evolved race`. He`s misrepresenting science, much as one might misrepresent Christianity. Hitler wouldn`t accept evidence contradicting his ethnocentric view. Being a dogmatic thinker, he would simply deny the facts and reinforce his racist ideology as infallible. You speak as if the message of `love thy neighbor` can`t be applied to a humanist philosophy. Indeed, our evolution as a species to this point has been dependent on our ability to communicate and interact with each other, as natural selection made it more advantagous for humans to collaborate and socialize. Having a society work at all lends a great deal to basic respect to your fellow man. Moreover, Jesus` teachings of `love thy neighbour` were hardly revolutionary, even for his time. Buddha had taught simular doctrines years in advance.
"Why do I believe the Bible? Because it explains things. It explains how the world could come together in the latter days under one religion... The alternative is a universe without a cause and damns humanity to a purposeless existence. Is there anything more cruel?" Bzrd.
Does the bible explain phenomena better than the natural sciences? I`ve already admitted that the scientific method isn`t perfect, but the bible`s track record fares even worse. Bzrd, i notice an apparent need for you to have clearly defined truths. You seem to need a clear cut meaning in life, clear cut answers to good/evil, simple answers to difficult ambiguous questions. Admittedly, the bible provides you such truths, but are they really satisfying? I did too once, but one must abandon that dogma to try to see things as they truely are, not as one would like them to be. Is there anything more cruel? Yes, confining yourself to the writings of a highly inconsistent book. Meaning in life is subjectively defined... just as we can give a myriad of functions to a tree stump (wood choping block, a seat, etc), the tree stump offers no function until we give it that function. Analagously, one`s life has no meaning until one gives their life meaning, it`s entirely subjective, but i can`t see the rational in accepting the sweeping generalization of "the meaning of life is _______ (to unquestioningly serve a distant god?)" and this should somehow satisfy everybody in the world. You have control of your own life. I find it ironic that Christians are preachers of free will yet consider themselves "tools" and "instruments" of God`s will. It seems to me that one then becomes a willing slave, confined to world view that never lets them question beyond their own dogma.
"men would be ever-learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the Truth", as they build their castles in the sand." - Bzrd
My friend, it seems to me that ever learning, and knowledge go hand in hand. To me, learning for the sheer intrinsic joy in it, is a legitimate end in itself... i need no Deity to impress or glorify.