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Getting Pissed, Now?

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Posted by Mario Dovalina on June 19, 2001 00:53:39 UTC

"( About to call you a name )"

I've been called worse, go ahead. :)

"The bible was written 2000 years ago in a time where things could only be understood by telling a story to get a LARGER point across."

Yup. That point is "love thy neighbor." And I do, for the most part. However, I don't think religion should be a prerequisite for love, and doesn't have to be.

The thing is, if religion's only purpose is to spread love, it does so in a way I consider intellectually dishonest. Love thy neighbor or go to hell. Love thy neighbor because God said so. Love thy neighbor and you can live forever. When it boils down, it's really a carrot and stick method.

"It has had MANY interpretations. Not ' selective'

I'll paste something John Powell posted here a while ago that I loved. See what you make of it:

"Do you want to continue to believe absurdities like

-Men and women came from Adam and his rib,
-Animals have the names they do because Adam gave them those names,
-Life is tough because Adam ate the forbidden fruit,
-Wives have to be subservient to their husbands because Eve was deceived by the serpent
-Serpents lost their legs and have to crawl on the ground because God was mad the serpent deceived Eve,
-Rainbows exist because God wants to show that he won't flood the whole earth again,
-People speak different languages because God confounded the builders of the Tower of Babel,
-The Earth is flat and has four corners,
-If you have enough faith you can do miracles like
--bring down plagues against your enemies
--make the Red Sea divide by command
--make the Sun stand still
--make water become alcohol
--multiply a few loaves and fishes into enough for hundreds to eat
--walk on water
--live after your body has decomposed
-illness is caused by supernatural evil forces and can be cured by paying the priest enough money
-rabbits eat their cud
-God will bring fire and brimstone down on the wicked cities, but will cause the righteous to float up to meet him
-etc., etc.

Instead of accepting all these foolish ideas, modern theists throw out what they can no longer swallow (like a flat earth), but keep what still sounds good to them (like Christ resurrected from the dead). Why keep any of it? If it violates the observed properties of the world we live in, why accept the nonsense? Because you grew up with the belief? Because it makes you feel good? Children feel good believing in Santa Clause."

Now, you may claim that there are "several interpretations" to the Bible, and that may be so, but I would humbly opine that some of the statements John attacked are extremely straightforward. And even if you could find many interpretations for the most innocuous verse in the Bible, what does that say of its inherent quality? If you can read it and see whatever you want (as have Inquisitors and Crusaders throughout history) then what good is it, really?

It's kind of like a Rorshach test. What you see in the Bible tells you more about yourself than it tells about the verse you claim to be interpreting. It may be useful as a psychological therapeutic device, but as a source of true knowledge (which it claims to be): NOPE.


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