Allah, YHWH and God have many commonalities, but Jesus as the resurrected ” Son of God” sets the Christian foundation at odds with Muslims and Jews on religious “Truth”. Much conflict, both theological and military, has been over whose God is the One and Only True God. Lost in the myriad of details each “true religion” has developed to define their God/Creator is a commonality that eclipses the details and is seldom discussed.
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. (more…)
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a conjecture or premise to be true and confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.
In Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”, the White Queen says, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” This is often quoted in mockery of the common ability of people to entertain and maintain beliefs contrary to facts, evidenced in a myriad of ways today, some of which we’ll be exploring.
We exist in a three dimensional reality in which all matter is contained in the confines of width, depth and height. Many great minds (including the late, great Carl Sagan) believe(d) there is a forth dimension and probably an endless number of dimensions. We are unable to picture them because we are trapped in a 3-D reality and even the forth dimension remains an abstract concept. But it’s not just a matter of space. There’s also the matter of time. (more…)
Although people’s religious beliefs may bring comfort and meaning to their lives, they’re also at the root of much of today’s hatred and violent conflicts. With Islamaphobia and the connected violence rampant, this is a good time to go back to the basics and read a variety of opinions about religion. The first four quotes remind us that our religious beliefs are often not the result of any serious exploration and informed choice on our part, but simply the acceptance of the beliefs prevalent in the family, location and culture into which we were born. (more…)
The Ten Commandments (the commonly quoted ones, not the real commandments in Exodus 18-28) are the cornerstone for the conduct of Christians. You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and so on, are summed up in the single commandment known commonly as the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (more…)