For over a year I’d been involved in an on-going discussion about Christianity with a born again Christian believer and relative, which I’d found both interesting and disturbing. Realizing there are hundreds of millions of fundamentalist believers in supernatural “gods”, all based on belief without evidence is, to me, very curious. As these beliefs have real life consequences, I find them to be very worthy of exploration. These are excerpts from our discussions. Keep in mind, this is an educated man with a degree who was not raised a Christian, but developed his “born again” beliefs as an adult. In many cases, we’d been adding comments to the original and re-sending our replies back and forth. His words are in black and mine in red.
Thanks for your reply. As you probably know, I am an atheist as there is no proof that any God exists. Stories about deities like Christ have been around for thousands of years to explain the unknown. I find it equally curious that intelligent people believe the Bible and NIST’s 9/11 report, but let’s stick to the Bible. I am also a pacifist and have never hit anyone. I did however, participate in a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people because I didn’t have the courage to defy the State. I’ll add comments/questions below in red and hope that it will challenge your beliefs and result in either the acceptance that they are incorrect, or strengthen them if they are correct. Believing things that aren’t true doesn’t make them so, but does give them the appearance of reality.
I am a Born Again Christian. I believe that the Bible is the word of God and needs to be taken seriously. The Bible is man made, not the word of God. It was written by around 40 different men over more than a thousand years. There are dozens, if not hundreds of Bible versions. Why is the Bible the only true “word of God?” Why deny the validity of all other holy books? As for being “inspired by God”, this claim has been made by many people including Muhammed, Benny Hinn, and Joseph Smith. Why believe that only the people included in the Bible were inspired? I believe that God cannot tolerate sin. Christianity is one of the few major religions that believes we were all born in sin. Neither Islam or Judaism teach this. We are constantly tempted to sin. ALL people sin and are equally guilty in God’s eyes. As sinners, we will not be allowed to reside with God in Heaven without being cleansed of our sin. The sin that God bestowed on all mankind because of Eve right at the beginning as a punishment. If God is all-knowing, he must have known his creations would sin, but allowed it to happen. I believe that Christ was God incarnate. I believe that Christ died for our sins to give us the only path to eternal life (going to Heaven). I believe that anyone can accept this gift of eternal life by repenting of their sins, believing that Christ was God incarnate, believing that Christ died as a sacrifice to cleanse us of sin before God, and accepting Christ as our savior, and choosing to follow Him. People want to believe. Had you been born in Turkey, you would be a born again Muslim, or in India, a Hindu. Do you believe that all Muslims and Hindus are going to Hell?
Answer about war: God also directs us to obey our leaders because they have been chosen by Him. Are you serious? Do you believe that God has chosen your presidents?
God has given us all free will. Any leaders can (and often do) become corrupt. If they make rules that are contrary to Scripture, we must follow Scripture, not the leaders’ rules. If it means punishment, court martial, going to jail, or being executed, so be it. Weird that an all powerful God would make bad choices. I have always admired the Jehovah’s Witness, Doukhobours, and Quakers for doing what is right. However, they are splinter groups. The bulk of Christianity are hypocrites that do not have the courage to follow their professed religion.
I am a pacifist. I hate war and killing. You should be speaking out loudly and publicly if that’s the case. I’ve included my latest letter to the editor at the end of this. I don’t need the Bible to tell me what’s right and wrong. What are you doing to promote peace? I have never hit anyone in my life. I feel that is no solution to any conflict. However, if I was taken back in time and given the opportunity to kill Hitler before he killed millions, could I do it? I hope I could if it was God’s will that it needed to be done. I just read an interesting article about Hitler and his reign as the ultimate evil. At the outset of WWII, the Allies chose Stalin as the leader of their forces. Stalin killed an estimated 30 million of his own people. How does Hitler get branded as the ultimate Evil One? The Bible has many examples where violence was necessary and it was God’s will. The problem is distinguishing between God’s will and revenge or Satan’s will. This is why I continue to study the Bible. I finally found a Bible translation that is easier to read. It’s called the New Living Translation. However, when I research I refer to the original Hebrew or Greek just to make sure. The Bible shows us God’s will. He inspired these words to show us how we need to act and live.
Really? When did you learn to read Hebrew and Greek?
Please comment on the following instructions from God…. If the Bible is the true word of God, aren’t you supposed to be following these instructions? If not, why?
“If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)
1) If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)
But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB) 2) All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)
Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children. (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)
Except for murder, slavery has got to be one of the most immoral things a person can do. Yet slavery is rampant throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. The Bible clearly approves of slavery in many passages, and it goes so far as to tell how to obtain slaves, how hard you can beat them, and when you can have sex with the female slaves.
Many Jews and Christians will try to ignore the moral problems of slavery by saying that these slaves were actually servants or indentured servants. Many translations of the Bible use the word “servant”, “bondservant”, or “manservant” instead of “slave” to make the Bible seem less immoral than it really is. While many slaves may have worked as household servants, that doesn’t mean that they were not slaves who were bought, sold, and treated worse than livestock.
The following passage shows that slaves are clearly property to be bought and sold like livestock.
However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)
THERE WAS NO RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE
God gave us free will. He is all knowing and I agree that means he knew what was going to happen and allowed it. I prefer to think of it as discipline instead of punishment, but it’s sort of the same. This is why he has ever since offered us a path back to Him via repentance and accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior who can cleanse us of our sins. Here is the crux of it all. God didn’t say any of it. A very select group of men said that God told them, possibly in a dream. They provide the interpretations, and in many cases, Catholics for example, they can forgive your sins, often for a fee/offering.
I believe that all people are born with an innate knowledge of what God wants us to be. They have done much research that proves even very young babies can choose right from wrong. As such we all have a drive to seek righteousness. It makes no difference what label (Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Christian) is put on our beliefs. However, the only path to Heaven is through a cleansing of our sin prior to death. We do this by repenting of our sins and accepting that Jesus Christ cleansed all sin for us on the cross. Hmmmm. Then it does matter what religion you practice, contrary to what you just said. Some other religions believe it is from good works, but the Bible clearly states that is incorrect. I have no idea what any person thinks during their last breath. I believe that if they repent and accept Christ in the last millisecond, they will be saved from a life in eternal Hell. Christian mass murderers, rapists and child molesters get to to to Heaven, but non-believers go to Hell, not because of their evil deeds, but because they don’t get cleansed by Jesus? Paul used this an other enticements in his recruiting. There is little incentive to avoid sin if it’s all going to be forgiven. Karma is a far more equitable and sane belief that would be a true deterrent for society as a whole. God works in the life of everyone to push them in His direction. He uses believers to reach out to non-believers when necessary. In this age of internet and radio broadcasts and shipping Bibles all over the world, it is becoming easier to spread the word. What do you think about all of the televangelists who are spreading the word? Watch Benny Hinn, one of the most popular Christian evangelists today, turn over his massive stage to “the Holy Ghost”in this video. Those in attendance believe they witnessed something extraordinary. Watch the “men of God” swoon as they approach. Is it good that those thousands of people believe that really happened? I think most of the people in attendance did feel the power of the Holy Ghost, not because it was there on stage, but because of their zeal to believe. What do you think? I am increasingly feeling the weight of the personal task I have been given to help spread the word. Flying over the sprawling metropolis of Phoenix last weekend brought a tear to my eye to see so many people living day-to-day, focusing on this life which is just a mere speck of time compared to the eternal life we face after leaving this world. The Bible predicts that most people will not be believers and will not be saved. In His compassion, God is delaying the destruction of this world so that more non-believers will have the opportunity to change their path. Muslims worship the same god that Christians do…the one and only God. Because they speak Arabic the word is Allah, which means “the God”. Devout Muslims are far more austere and obedient to God’s word than all Christians with the possible exception of some monastic orders. They are often thought of as barbaric when they punish homosexuals and adulterers by Christians who do not follow God’s word. Why would they not have a place in Heaven because they speak Arabic? They do not believe in the Trinity, but that there is only one God. Muhammed was not God, but simply God’s messenger.
God allows righteous killing. of disobedient children, adulterers and homosexuals? God even uses our leaders and us to implement his judgment on others. The Bible includes many instances of unrepentant, hopelessly sinful people being eliminated by God. Sodom and Gomorrah were eliminated by God Himself. Nineveh was eliminated by the Israelites at God’s direction. Is God encouraging the killing of Muslims by Christians today? Goliath was eliminated by David at God’s direction. The world got so corrupt and hopelessly sinful at one time that He wiped out almost all of mankind and allowed us to start again (Noah and the flood).
However, we are supposed to question all rules/orders/laws to make sure that they follow Scripture. Here’s the explanation for justifying murder by Christians……
Killing becomes murder when (and only when) it is not properly justified, and the justifications are clear: you can use whatever force necessary to protect your own life from a hostile aggressor, or to save the life of an innocent from such imminent, life-threatening danger. The difference between the legal or illegal use of deadly force is really a matter of motive, intent and justification, and these distinctions come straight from the pages of Scripture.
I agree that having people make the choice of whether killing is justified or not is dangerous and imperfect. The only One that can really know is God. I wrestle with this all the time when I hear people talk of deadly self-defense or protection of an “innocent”. Whether someone is an innocent or not is all in the eye of the beholder and our human perceptions are very fallible. What if you kill someone that was beating a woman on the head with a baseball bat only to find out that she was going to trigger a nuclear bomb with a drone in the middle of Palestine. Don’t sidestep this one. The current GWOT has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people and it’s happening as I write this. According the above definition, it is not justified… it is vengeful hatred. The motive, intent and justification is a mixture of racial, religious, and political beliefs. The fact it’s based on a lie makes it even more horrific, but the fact is that Christian soldiers are voluntarily going around the globe to kill/murder for their race, religion and country. This is the most important area that we can discuss as it affects the lives of millions of people here and now (and for reasons you’re aware of, is something I experienced myself). Do you believe that people who are paid to kill for the state are all forgiven and live happily after ever in Heaven? How about soldiers who are non-believers? Here’s a historical reminder for you. In the 1930’s Germany was quite a devout Christian nation with about 60% Protestant and 40% Catholic. Jews were a tiny minority and Muslims basically non-existent. When speaking about the Holocaust, most people say the Nazis (or preposterously Hitler) did the killing, when in reality it was Christian soldiers. Some of them hated the Jews because they “killed Jesus”. Assuming they had accepted Jesus as their personal saviour, are the ones who manned the death camps all in Heaven for eternity and the Jews in Hell?
As you know, I do not trust any governments. You said God chooses the leaders. Do you not trust his judgement? The motives are typically greed and power. I have no idea why God is allowing it. But I am positive there is a reason. Many people believe that it is the coming of the end of times as predicted in Revelation. We are definitely following the biblical prophecies of increased corruption, unbelief, and sin (including murder).
I agree that there are a LOT of Christian hypocrites. They are not true believers and will suffer the same fate as all other non-believers. As you, I have no tolerance for hypocrites and neither does God. I assume you do not consider yourself a hypocrite. I suggest that any professed Christian who is not loudly and publicly denouncing the current wars and racial hatred, or even worse, supporting them, is a hypocrite and a coward. The fear of being seen as unpatriotic keeps most Christians and their churches from speaking out publicly. Telling young men and women that they will be forgiven for murdering people in foreign lands for no justifiable reason should be a reason to burn in Hell, if there is one.
See above and explain how the slaughter of the GWOT is not murder. I have no idea if it is murder or not. WOW!! I gave you the scriptural definition of murder. I believe that I am not the one to judge. Again WOW! Didn’t you say you feel obligated to spread the word? What could be more important than spreading the Golden Rule Matt 7:12. This is the core of the teaching of Christ. God judges. God knows if it is innocents that are being killed, or hopelessly unrepentant sinners, or hopelessly evil people that will kill millions in the future. Are you suggesting that if the innocent people being killed today are unrepentant their deaths are justified? I pray that any soldier on any side of any conflict is not killing innocents in the guise of war. You’re prayers are in vain, because they are being murdered every day. You have to use your outside voice with courage and conviction. There is another aspect I am pursuing. We see death as a punishment or loss. In God’s eyes, death from this corrupt, sinful world can be a God-given reward. God may be directing soldiers to release innocents from a very painful future. Holy Crap!! That’s the line of thought that psychopaths have. Mind you, your God acts like a psychopath in many cases. Here, we’re doing you a favour… BOOM!!!
There are lots of massively evil people throughout history. The question is: could you kill them if you had the opportunity to go back in time before they had millions of people exterminated? Why would you even suggest this? It sounds like you believe God may have put them here to kill non-believers, like the Jews. I would have to have a BIG push from God for this to happen. Trying to discern God’s will from human emotions is the tough part. Jeremiah 14:14 14 Then the Lord said, “These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts.” This is a fit description of the men who “wrote” the Bible and have corrupted it over the centuries and sit in positions of power with their interpretations.
The Bible has many examples where violence was necessary and it was God’s will. The problem is distinguishing between God’s will and revenge or Satan’s will. Again, the GWOT is revenge based. Blaming it on God is a way to ease the conscience. This is why I continue to study the Bible. I finally found a Bible translation that is easier to read. It’s called the New Living Translation. However, when I research I refer to the original Hebrew or Greek just to make sure. How can you do that unless you can read Hebrew and Greek? Aren’t you relying on yet another translation/interpretation?
Here are a few Bible passages to apply to the above…
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. To “turn the other cheek,” does not imply pacifism, nor does it mean we place ourselves or others in mortal danger. Turning the other cheek refers to avoiding personal retaliation or revenge. Then you should be doing everything within your power to stop people from murdering for revenge. Many people point to acts of violence perpetrated by “fanatical Muslims” to justify the intercontinental wars. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine Chinese forces bombing and killing in your neighbourhood. Jesus did not mean to negate all of God’s laws that allow us to protect ourselves against violent crime and evil. What laws did he negate? I though Jesus and God were in essence the same thing. An important question for you…. does the Golden Rule (which is not just from Jesus, but from many other sources) negate much of the Mosaic law? Only a masochist would want bad things to happen to them.
What do you say about the barbaric laws in the Old Testament? The Bible has been proven to be historically accurate and documents the way that life was in those old days. This only applies to Christian believers. The Bible is not used in history courses because it’s not historically accurate. You’re avoiding the issue. The barbaric laws were given to the people by God… stoning, killing, sacrificing, slavery, etc. 1000 years in the future many things we are doing today may be classified as barbaric. Today, we see their everyday way of life, laws and punishments as sometimes barbaric. We don’t need to wait 1000 years… there’s plenty of barbaric practices going on today with many of them religiously justified.
Should you be able to pick and chose what’s comfortable, or are you supposed to follow all of God’s laws? This would include slavery, killing adulterers and disobedient children, etc. If you discount the entire Old Testament, there goes the Ten Commandments.
Many of the laws as stated in the Old Testament were made unnecessary in the New Testament with a New Covenant with God and when Jesus became the sacrifice for all of our sins. The New Covenant invalidated some of the old covenants. Many of the OT laws were sacrificial and ceremonial that were intended as a temporary covering for sin, but these were all fulfilled when Christ came and was crucified as a permanent sacrifice for sins to all who would believe. Also, some OT laws were only required of the nation of Israel to separate them as God’s people. They were not intended for Christians. It is clearly stated in the New Testament which Old Testament laws are still in effect (like the Ten Commandments). There are over 600 laws supposedly given by God/Jesus in the OT. Where does it clearly say which ones aren’t to be followed. Did God change his mind? Who said so?
God loves you no matter what (just like me) and offers comfort and hope. It’s the sin of this corrupt world that he hates. I would like to think such a monstrous God doesn’t exist. If we all practiced the Golden Rule, and eliminated all of the socio/psychopaths who have no innate sense of right and wrong, this would be a better world. All of the crap from the OT and arguing about which version or translation or, in fact, which religion, is right provides fuel for divisiveness,misunderstanding and hatred. Before becoming hopelessly lost in what amounts to medieval mumbo jumbo, watch this. It will be helpful if you’re actually planning to convince people that Christianity is the only true path to follow. Honestly, this statement you made is pretty scary….You should seriously decide if you want to have thoughts like this in your mind. It sounds like something from Charlie Manson or Jim Jones.“In God’s eyes, death from this corrupt, sinful world can be a God-given reward. God may be directing soldiers to release innocents from a very painful future”
I don’t find a need for faith and belief when the alternative of either knowing or accepting that I don’t know are the alternatives. I’ve just read the first couple of statements from the link you sent, and categorically do not believe that the Bible is the “supreme and final authority in faith and life”. This is the crux of all Christian teaching/preaching… using the Bible to verify itself. The denial of the validity of all other “holy books” is the source of much of the conflict and self imposed ignorance taking place today. My blog should make it fairly clear why I do not accept this as the truth, but here’s are some of the reasons.
The Bible isn’t “the word of God”. It was “written” by around 40 different men over 1000+ years. It’s been revised and translated many times over the centuries.
The Bible is the creation of the early Catholic church. There were not 40,000 Christian denominations while it was being assembled as there are today. Anyone challenging their authority were branded as heretics and often put to death, as decreed in their Bible. Today’s Catholic church still rejects all others, just as most Christians reject all other religions.
The men who compiled the Bible had an agenda. They used it to enslave societies and grant themselves power and wealth through fear and collusion with despotic rulers. The collusion included revisions to, and interpretations of, their “holy book” to suit the situation and it endures today.
The early church and it’s Bible brought the world the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, and the Crusades, which are now re-ignited with the rampant Islamaphobia of today.
Man wasn’t created in God’s image….. God was created in man’s image, by men.
Nearly all of the Bible consists of the remnants of dreams and visions of “prophets” who claimed to be inspired by God, although some have no author stated. Others, including Muhammed, Buddha, Joseph Smith and many more make the same claim. None of them can provide any proof, other than their word, that they were parroting back the words of God. Why would anyone believe this at all, and why only specific prophets and books?
There is truth in the Bible, but also in thousands of other books, many of which are far easier to understand without sorting through meaningless names and details.
“Because the Bible says so” has no bearing on it’s validity, except to it’s believers.
The link you sent me is to a site that is biblical in proportion and would take days to read through. You are correct in saying that I reject belief #1 that much of the rest is based upon. This is an exclusionary, close minded approach to the truth that many believers, not just Christians, choose to follow. Here’s where our paths lead in different directions…
You choose to believe, I do not. It’s not that my beliefs are different from yours and others. I simply reject believing overall when knowing, and accepting not knowing, the truth is the alternative. Accepting myths and folklore to fill in the blanks of what I don’t know or understand is not something I choose to do….
I admit I don’t know all the answers, you believe you can find them all in a single book compiled and edited by the founders of the Catholic church. FYI, the site you sent me to doesn’t agree with the Catholic faith, nor do they with yours, whatever it may be.
You believe the Bible is factual, accurate and God inspired. I do not. Considering the fact that there are tens of thousands of Christian denominations, its apparent that the Bible, although it does contain some truths, also contains many inconsistencies, mistranslations and unclear statements that spawned so many varying beliefs. How many versions/revisions are there of the Koran as an alternative holy book?
You believe that you’ll be rewarded with an eternity in Heaven based on your faith. I do not believe there’s a Heaven or Hell and certainly not a one way ticket to either based on one lifetime believing in a particular deity.
You believe (or at least accept with mild skepticism) the official 9/11 story, I do not.
It sounded like you believe you would have been justified in killing Hitler, something you brought up to make a point about justified killing/murder. I don’t believe it’s your right to take anyone’s life, especially as a Christian. Contrary to what everyone who uses Hitler as an example of darkness and evil believes, Hitler didn’t kill millions of Jews. Christian Germans, protestants and catholics alike, killed the Jews based on what they believed. Much of the hatred was based on their belief that “the Jews killed Jesus”. Here’s a quote from Der Fuhrer… “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” How could all of those Christians believe Hitler? One only has to go to the “good book” as they did.
You can continue to protect your beliefs from scrutiny and take comfort in the fact that millions of others believe as you do, but that only makes them true and real in your own minds. Here’s a short video of thousands of believers who witnessed God/Jesus/Holy Ghost in person. Do I believe it was real? For them, yes it was, and is, very real… Did it strengthen and validate their faith? Guaranteed! Watch the people in the audience with their hands raised in the air near the end. This is an excellent demonstration of the power of belief and faith, or more correctly, the fervent desire to believe. So, yes, I do believe this is real, but also dangerously delusional, and something I do not want in my life.
Here a a few quotes about choosing the paths to follow as we have done.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. Buddha
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. Jiddu Krishnamurti
The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs. John Dewey
I don’t really go down one path. I wouldn’t call myself a Buddhist, or a Catholic or a Christian or a Muslim, or Jewish. I couldn’t put myself into any organized faith. Dean Cain
I want to thank you for continuing this discussion. My faith and understanding have definitely been strengthened by you taking me to task on these topics. And now I understand your beliefs a little better. I also now understand why my Bible study group puts up with me. I am sort of the outsider that challenges them with sometimes “inappropriate” questions that they would never raise themselves. This forces them to find the Scripture verses that support their statements or answers the questions. This then increases their understanding of the basis for their beliefs. Sort of like what you do to me.
I’ll assume it will be weeks for you to work through the attached comments. A couple of things for you to ponder in the meantime… The onus for proof is on the person making factual claims, not the person denying them. As I’ve told you already, I am a non-believer in a number of areas, certainly including religious dogma. My questioning is not to bolster my “beliefs”, but to deny those I don’t believe. It’s not logical to prove something doesn’t exist. As I deny that the Bible is “the word of God” but rather an adulterated collection of supposedly ancient documents that no longer exist in their original form, using it to prove it’s own validity is a weak undertaking.
It’s a lot of material because it is a very important topic. Today’s society is attacking the veracity of the Scriptures every day and persecuting Christians directly and indirectly. This persecution is prophesized in the Bible and will continue and increase until the end times. If they attack specifics in the Bible, the Bible holds up every time. In frustration (I guess) they usually just take things out of context to prove their own points. I’m not sure how you feel today’s society is persecuting Christians, but agree that more people have awakened to the fact that they have been misled in many areas including religious dogma, history, representative government and more. We no longer believe that disease is caused by demons or that the sun revolves around the earth. These facts replaced ancient beliefs and have been proven.
You are correct in saying that I reject belief #1 that much of the rest is based upon. This is an exclusionary, close minded approach to the truth that many believers, not just Christians, choose to follow. Didn’t you just reject reading the articles I sent to you because they didn’t agree with your beliefs? Seems we are all a little close-minded if the statements don’t agree with our beliefs. It’s the way beliefs work. This is the crux of our disagreement. I don’t have contrary beliefs to yours. I require proof and evidence in place of beliefs, and reject those that have no credible proof and evidence. Everyone thinks they have it figured out and all others are delusional. I already told you that I don’t think I have it all figured out, nor does any human being living in our 3 dimensional “reality”. Yes, I do think all fundamentalists are delusional believing they have the answers and particularly when they insist that all other beliefs are not only wrong, but will result in an eternity in hell.
You choose to believe, I do not. It’s not that my beliefs are different from yours and others. I simply reject believing overall when knowing, and accepting not knowing, the truth is the alternative. You have to have faith in other’s opinions/research/etc. to think you have found truth. Correct. In reality, all truth is based on faith. Not correct. I don’t have faith that gravity exists. It is demonstrable. Water boils at 100 degrees C. Water can take three distinct forms… the list goes on and on. I do believe that the earth revolves around the sun and that the universe is unfathomably huge. You quote other people and other people’s research – for you to trust that this is the truth, you have to have placed faith in their analysis. True. Their analysis is demonstrable and provides sufficient evidence that their proposition is true. Belief is acceptance without sufficient proof. Accepting myths and folklore to fill in the blanks of what I don’t know or understand is not something I choose to do…. It is all myths and folklore unless you personally have experienced the occurrence (and even then our human senses and brain fool us much of the time) and have the expertise to understand it. Just because a bunch of people agree, doesn’t make it the truth. Almost everyone in the world agreed that it was flat for a LONG time. I did not witness Abraham Lincoln existing, but accept that he did because of the volume of evidence, including eyewitness accounts, photographs, his writings, etc. Interesting that you mentioned belief that the earth is flat. The people who wrote the Bible believed this along with many other fallacies. The Church branded those who disagreed with them as heretics. Galileo was convicted of heresy for proposing the concept of heliocentrism because he was able to observe celestial movement with the telescope. He also proposed the theory of tides and comets. I believe he existed although I never met him. I can however, also see the movement of the earth around the sun, the tides and comets and understand they are natural, not supernatural occurrences.
You believe the Bible is factual, accurate and God inspired. Although touted as fables and myths since the early times, archeology continues to verify the scientific veracity of the Bible. Is there another book where prophesies have come true hundreds of years after they were written? Les Propheties by Nostradamus, The Book of Prophesies by Christopher Columbus and the writings of Edgar Cayce to name a few. However, both these and the Bible’s prophesies are substantially based on interpretations. It’s easy to fit an ancient prophecy to a current event when it is interpreted to be so.