p21 of The Portable Atheist, if you're still thinking of Spinoza XD
I'm an eclectic pagan, and for the most part, I tend to dislike very religious Christians and Christianity. Most of my friends are atheist or agnostic or deist, and the few Christian friends I have are either the kind of Christians who say they're Christian but don't really pray or go to church or read the bible, or just really open-minded people who don't feel the need to convert everyone they meet.
Now, I don't really have an issue with Christianity, as a set of beliefs and a way of life. I have an issue with Christians. I think that the very nature of Christianity is to draw people to it who typically don't like to think for themselves. It stresses obedience and loyalty to God and the church regardless of personal beliefs. That is all fine by me. But there are a lot of people who take that too far, who force those same ideals on other people, and most distressingly, who attempt to insert Christianity into the law. I take issue with the fact that some Christians seem to think that they are above the law, which is to say that they think it's okay to ban gay marriage even though America was founded on the separation of church and state. I take issue with the fact that some Christians seem to think it's okay, even favorable to force their beliefs on other people. I take issue with the fact that some Christian leaders twist the words of their holy documents to mean whatever they want it to, and they take advantage of their followers.
I don't know if this is the majority, or I've just been very unlucky. But I get very sick and tired of being treated like my religion is inferior to Christianity or like I am inferior just because I'm not Christian or because I'm gay. And I think that considering my terrible experiences with Christianity, I think it's shocking that I don't hate Christians. But anyways, that's why I tend to dislike Christians.
I'm so happy you can still say you don't hate Christians. It seems (or I hope) that in this situation, like many situations in life, its just that the negative stands out more than the positive. There are many, lets call them 'extremist Christians" , who do think themselves superior and it's unfortunate. As a Christian I like there condenscending nature as much as you do. I always try to remember if i want to be true to my Christian beliefs that means avoiding pride and being judgemental. I hope you'll be able to meet and have positive relationships with true Christians who love you not inspite of your differences, but will be able to love you for your differences, as Jesus would have them. Best wishes!
I have a question about Christianity:
Who is Jesus in relation to God? Because I know he is considered God, but I also know that he's considered the son of God. And Christianity is a monotheistic religion, so there can't be two? Sorry, just never understood it. Thanks! :)
Well even within Christianity there are different views on this. My personal belief is that Jesus is the literal son of God and that they are physically two seperate beings, but they are one being in purpose. As they are one in purpose and work together and Jesus has done so much for us, it some times easier to refer to him as God as well out of respect for what he has done and that would be where so much debate and confusion can arise in the bible.
How I understand it, they are physically different. I don't know what the figure of God the Father is (from Bible stories I've read, He is recognized through a voice) but God the Son, Jesus, actually lived here on earth, had human DNA and all the human stuff, experienced pain and suffering like we do, battled with temptation etc. and the third figure is the Holy Spirit, the One that descended after Jesus died, also the God that lives within ourselves right to this day (people sometimes refer to it as conscience but I believe it's so much bigger than that.) =)
I am an atheist, but I think its great that you have such faith. I wish I had faith like you! Piousness is always great.
I've been a "Christian" all my life but it took me a personal relationship with God to know what faith is. It's just recently when I have accepted and fully surrendered my life to Him and His plans. I do not live a perfect life but now I know what grace is, that even if I keep falling and falling, a loving God chooses to pick me up all the time.
I think it's important for other people to know that being a true Christian isn't about following a bunch of rules and being limited in doing things, imposing beliefs to other people ('cause this seems to be the image the world has of 'Christianity') but in knowing what true love, grace, and freedom is through Jesus and His promises.
As an atheist I'm not really on the christian train but I'm all for people believing in whomever they want if it helps them be a better person. My problem is more with churches, as it seems to me like their more into instructing people from their own interpretation of spirituality. Also historically religion has caused quite a bit of trouble you know wars, massacres, the destruction of artifacts belonging to other religions oh and of course not being open to freedom of expression... one word Galileo. So in short I don't think one deity is more or less legitimate than the next but I think churches suck.
of course not being open to freedom of expression... one word Galileo
Erm... how well do you know the history of this? The church has no objection to what Galileo was saying, their objection was to the fact that
A) He asserted it without proof
B) His self contradictory arguments (He used tides as proof that the Earth moved, which was not only wrong, but contradicted his own theories on relative motion)
C) His mocking tone of the authorities
This is proven by the fact that Galileo was never convicted for heresy, despite the fact that his views on Heliocentricism were well known. He was convicted on "suspicion of heresy" not because the Church thought that Heliocentricism was a heresy, but because the Church thought that that's what Galileo thought.
For more details see here.
Nevertheless it is not inappropriate to say that for a time, heliocentrism was considered [somewhat] heretical.
Answer this. If heliocentricism was considered heretical, then why was Galileo not convicted of heresy, given the evidnece that was known. Also, why did other Chruch officals express willingness to reinterpret the Bible in the light of new evidence?
I say that, if there were a real proof that the Sun is in the centre of the universe, that the Earth is in the third sphere, and that the Sun does not go round the Earth but the Earth round the Sun, then we should have to proceed with great circumspection in explaining passages of Scripture which appear to teach the contrary, and we should rather have to say that we did not understand them than declare an opinion to be false which is proved to be true. But I do not think there is any such proof since none has been shown to me. To demonstrate that the appearances are saved by assuming the sun at the centre and the earth in the heavens is not the same thing as to demonstrate that in fact the sun is in the centre and the earth is in the heavens.
Letter from Bellarmine to Father Foscarini
April 4 1615
Something cannot be "somewhat" heretical. Either it is heretical, or it is not.
Heliocentricism was not considered heretical, however it was the established norm of the time, and was the current intrpretation ascribed to certain Bible passages. However, when Galileo came along, what happened was that he insisted that that model be overthrown, despite the fact that at the time he had
A) no new evidence
B) no internally consistant model with his prepositions.