Email today comes from a fellow whose rather ironic screen name is “Advanced Technology Solutions.”
I have a few questions for you. I am a Christian, and a strong Man in my faith, therefore these questions may be hard for you to respond to
1.) Are you a scientist?
2.) Do you speak, write, or translate Hebrew, or Greek?
3.) Are you a parent?
Below are my reasons for asking these questions
1.) If you are not a scientist, then in fact you must take the word of someone you have never met, and use it as evidence for your case. Guess who else does that? That’s right Christians do that every day.
Let’s talk a little bit about the philosophy of science.
Religion is explicitly based to a certain extent on “faith” — believing above all in the accuracy of one particular source (in your case, the Bible) and assuming that anything which disagrees with this source must be wrong.
Science, by contrast, is more of a methodology than an authority, and the philosophical position is almost exactly opposite. Nobody who wishes to do science can expect to be immune from criticism. That includes the most famous scientists as well as fresh graduate students. Isaac Newton’s laws of motion were considered to be one of the crowning achievements of physics… until they were overturned by Einstein.
Science isn’t considered to be well-supported until it has been published in public journals that anybody can read, dissect, and criticize. The experiments they cite need to be clearly described, and repeatable by others who might challenge the results. In short, it’s not a cult of personality, but a process for filtering out ideas that don’t stand up to scrutiny.
2.) If you answer no o this question, then how can you understand how these ancient texts were to be translated? Oh I know you rely on an expert who has studied these sorts of things their entire life. They have read the books, and been well educated. Let me ask who wrote these books? Men, flawed creatures, who believed the world was flat, and that the center of everything was the earth. Again blind faith in Men.
They could have done the most accurate reading in the world, but it wouldn’t make what’s in the text any more likely to be true. Tell me, what do Christians provide as an equivalent to the above? How do you propose I go about distinguishing your true claims from your false ones? What makes you think that anything the Bible has to say about gods or the supernatural (even the original, untranslated source material) is accurate?
3.) If the answer is yes, then you understand the rage of God “The Father.” Sometimes as parents we do become angry with our children, and we tell them “you will understand when your older.” And things of this nature. And to say that God is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow is correct. Look in exodus where he plans to kill the Israelites, but Moses intercedes for them, and God spares them. We see his rage in the great flood, and his compassion, and we read in the new testament that Jesus is seated at his right hand and makes intercession for us. He gives one reason for his wrath, he cannot stand Sin, but Jesus intercedes for us so that he not wipe us out.
It’s a poor analogy. No matter how much I think my kids have screwed up, I’ve never once been tempted to dole out an eternity of torture for their behavior. I think that any parent who would punish their child with even a couple of days of torture because they are “angry” would be rightly considered an abusive and unfit parent.
On a side note. If you are going to accuse Christians of Being “Stupid” You should understand that without proper theological training that you have no case for the non-existence of God, Just as I am not a Plumber, therefore, I must take his word when he says “frozen pipes.” The point is Pastors, or other men with theological training are here to help us make sense of the teachings in the bible, just as your “experts” help you understand the world. Without objection (right, everyone has an agenda, even Atheist) In closing learn Hebrew, and Greek, Translate the Bible for yourself, and ask where is YOUR proof that God does not exist, not the proof from another group of “experts” Who like everyone else is left roaming the earth looking for a
[It just cuts off there]
I personally try to avoid unfair sweeping generalizations like “Christians are stupid.” I think they are incorrect, but lots of very smart people have been incorrect about a great many things — through error, or sometimes deliberate or unconscious dishonesty.
I think that people with theological training have accumulated a lot of knowledge about literary interpretation and analysis, but they have not, in any sense, provided evidence in several thousand years that their stories about magical beings in the sky are an accurate depiction of reality. It’s not their authority or sincerity that I dispute; it’s the fact that they have no reliable method for telling what things are true.
Let me ask you a question. I already know you’re a Christian, which means you disagree with two thirds of the world about what is true, two billion Muslims are wrong about their belief in the Quran, and a billion Hindus are wrong about their belief in the Bhagavad Gita. Among the 33,000 competing sects of Christianity that claim to know what is true about God, which one are you?
Thanks for writing!