This blog is primarily about my own thoughts on what it means o be reasonable or rational. In looking at that question it can be asked what is the goal we are rationally pursuing? My goal is to live rightly. Others seem to put their concerns on other things as I discussed here. But for me my goal is to live rightly as best I can. And by live rightly I mean my goal is to live morally as best I can. And yes I mean “real” morality not subjective morality or something we just make up. Do I have other goals? Yes but the goal of living rightly is the most important one that trumps all other concerns.
I would think many people would agree with that goal although not all. But even if you agree, the question is how do we do that? Follow the guidance of Mohamed? of Christ? other religious leaders? of Sam Harris or Peter Singer? I have argued that due to the nature of moral truth it is not something we can learn by science. I think the process is much more of a mixture of instinct, emotion, intuition, and reason/logic. But reason alone can’t get us there – we need starting premises and we need to weigh different values – logic won’t give those starting premises or weights. From my own observations and studies of history as well as other fields I think it is silly to think another natural person will give us guidance unless they are getting it from a supernatural source.
But how sure do we need to be there is an actually way to live? Is there a burden of proof that real morality exists? Should we or even can we believe things if they do not seem “more probable than not”? etc. I have written this analogy that I believe can help people understand my view and understand the importance I place in living rightly.
Imagine you come to realize you are lost in a large desert and you are short on water so your time is limited. You see a woman and she says you need to go this way follow me. Now do you believe her? Maybe you ask “why do you think I should go this way?” And she doesn’t answer. Maybe she looks shifty or is even in a prison uniform so you think maybe she is a criminal. Do you think the direction she is going is “more likely than not” the true way you should go? Does it matter if you believe her in a technical sense of “it is more likely than not true that she is going in the correct direction”? I don’t think it matters. I think the only question is whether it is possible she is better informed than you as to which way to go. Because you know you have no clue, it is certainly possible she is better informed than you are. So if she is possibly better informed it seems rational to follow her.
To the atheists: Maybe you will say I don’t really “believe” her. That is maybe you would say “I don’t think she is more likely than not telling the truth because ‘it is just her say so.’” Or maybe you will say I should “withhold belief.” And here I think we are to some extent questioning what it means to “believe.” But I think you would all agree that you would “take what she said as true” with respect to very important actions in your life. And here one of the most important actions that day will be to walk in a certain direction. So yes I can agree with your view that maybe you don’t “believe” her but I don’t agree that it is rational to walk in a different direction or just sit there waiting for someone else to come before you die of thirst. If you will walk with her until something more certain comes along, I agree. But in the meantime you should follow her.
To Christians: You might say Joe you are not a Christian if you do not believe in God. And by that you may mean I fail to think God’s existence is more likely true than not. I am not always sure what percentage I put on God’s existence. When I tried to calculate it I found it was very hard, and my calculations seemed to vary from day to day for little or no reason. I stopped trying to calculate it a long time ago. Decades ago?
But I will say that if I follow the woman I am having “faith” in her in a very important decision. I think I make very important decisions in my life based on taking Christ as the true guide. Of course, I admit my faith is not perfect, I have not given everything I own to the poor as Christ said one should. And I admit my not being perfect may be due to doubts. But I do pray, I do try to understand and follow scripture I do go to church, I am raising my children in the faith, I try to build love for God and others and I do firmly have faith in Christ more than anything else.
I trust him more than anyone. Do I wish I had more evidence? Yes sometimes I do. If I told you I never wished I had more evidence who do you think I would be fooling? But I also admit I am happy to get the Luke 12:47-48 pass for my behavior due to ignorance. Following Christ is not always easy. I think I am confident enough in Christ, and I don’t necessarily wish to up the ante.
Now I talked about belief and I do agree that when I say I “believe” something it tends to mean that I think it is more likely true than not true. But if we want to understand what Paul or the other scripture writers were getting at when they said “believe” or have “faith” in Jesus I really think they meant something more like what I am doing. That is they want us to walk the walk. Jesus himself often talked how our actions matter. (both our actions in a physical sense but also our actions in forming our conscience.) I have been and still remain firmly in that stage of trying to follow his guidance.
I believe plenty of scripture supports my view. I won’t go into all of it but consider Matthew and the sheep and goats.
Also consider this passage:
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
Now it seems pretty clear from “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing…” “belief in Jesus” does requires works. If I were to say “those who believe in Jesus will not do the works he has been doing” it would seem I am pretty clearly contradicting Jesus and teaching the opposite of what he said.
However, to be fair Jesus does not address whether “belief in him” requires other things – at least not here. And some might interpret this passage as suggesting Jesus is saying people will do greater miracles. But I think that is not simply not true to the actual words used.
“Works” is the Greek “erga” which Is translated as works – deeds – actions.
John of course used another word “semeion” sign to refer to miracles of Jesus which translates as signs.
Jesus showed he was from God by both doing good works and performing miracles/signs. If John thought Jesus was referring to his miracles in this passage he would have used the terms that mean miracles. He used different words and it is hard to see why – except for biases – we should say he really meant to use this other word.
Moreover Matthew also makes it clear that Christ is more interested in our doing good and not evil than he is in our performing miracles.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
The debate could go on. But if at the end of my life God says Joe even though you tried to live and form your conscience as Christ instructed (again I admit I could do better and I am sure that will be obvious to all at judgment day but I also think it will be obvious I *tried* to follow Christ, I tried to love my neighbor, I tried to live as he wanted, “I ran the race” as Paul said) but you know the probability you gave of my existing was too often below 50% based on an evaluation of the evidence (or it was below 50% at the instant of your death) so “adios down you go!” Well then ok. I really find that scenario pretty absurd. I think this view only seems to hold so much sway now because of the Catholic Church’s abuses and the Protestant views of “faith alone” and “belief versus works” over-corrected beyond any common sense understanding of scripture.
Again I don’t say it is impossible that my lack of credence/probability has no effect on my behavior I think it does. But really I don’t think there is much more I can do about where I put the evidence of God’s existence. I trust God is fair (if he is not then again what can any of us do?) and if he is fair he will not blame people for things beyond their control. So some can say I am not a Christian or a Catholic. But I think there are other more important things I need to do, to align my mind and actions with the way Christ wants other than just try to keep going over arguments about the probability of God’s existence.
Moreover, I have long ago hit a sort of equilibrium when it comes to those arguments. Not much has drastically changed in the overall weight of these probabilistic arguments in decades and the slight changes that do happen from reading about them are not always favorable to God’s existence anyway! Even when I read an argument that is supposed to be in favor of the probability of God I may find it weak or flawed and it may if anything slightly decrease the probability I put on God existing. I am not saying it should have that effect, but I think it does. In any case the importance of where we draw the line of probability is grossly overblown. It is much more important to understand the context of our decision whether to follow Christ and this desert analogy is the best way to express my understanding of the context.
It is interesting that Catholicism makes it clear that atheism is not always a mortal sin. And the reason for this is Catholic teaching is that God will treat us fairly and not expect us to do things beyond our ability.
Notice I am not saying it is ok to believe God does not exist. I am not adopting the view that no supernatural things like God are possible so Jesus was just a wise person. I think that would be like following the woman even if you knew she was just as lost as you are. I am saying I am adopting a position that Jesus was divine or at least guided by the divine in a way normal people are not guided. That is really all I am looking for. Did he perform every miracle recorded in scripture? That is not important. The important question is whether he performed *even one* miracle which would show that he has moral knowledge beyond other natural humans.
Our situation of how to live rightly is not properly evaluated by believing things that have over a 50% probability of being true. It is a comparison between options. In this scenario it is best to go with the guidance that has the best chance of being correct even if that chance is below 50%.
What about comparing different religions that have some evidence of being supernaturally inspired? It depends on the action and the judgment of the religion as to that action. But when it is the same moral command by different religions such as giving alms to the poor then the percentages reinforce each other. But when there is a disagreement I think we need to weigh the evidence as to which moral guidance is actually from God. And here I think the most direct way to see if something is from God is to compare the evidence of miracles.
If you are a Christian like me and have some doubts about whether the probability of God existing is over 50% then I would recommend the same thing I do and what I recommend to atheists. Keep following Christ until a more sure moral guide to how you should live shows up. And by that I do mean you should consider the chance that Mohammed or Confucius or Sam Harris, or you yourself know better how you should live than Christ. In making that judgment you should consider how anyone might even be able to reliably understand what we should do in a moral sense and who might possibly be in a better informed position. My evaluation of these factors has lead me to be a Christian.
That no Christian can agree on what it means to live “rightly”, we can see that they all make up what they want it to mean. Morals are picked and chosen by Christians to make a god in their image. Joe is quite an expert at this. All Christians want to pretend that their morals are the one that this god approves of. None can show this at all.
No one would agree with a goal that you made up the endpoint for by claiming that some magical being agrees with you and only you. Joe merely follows his own desires, and tries to play pretend that his god is “really” behind them.
What humans do is follow the behaviors that benefit civilization. Those who don’t are considered the pariahs. No god needed at all. We learn what works by trial and error, again no gods needed. Reason alone can get us there. Joe cannot show why it cannot. However he wants to pretend that some god has given him the “premises” and “values”.
There is a burden of proof on Joe to show that his claims are “real morality”. He, like every other theist, cannot. And now it seems it realizes this, since he wants everyone to agree with him based on his false claims of “probability”. That his version of his god exists is not probable, since we have no evidence for it at all, and again, Christians can’t agree on the most basic things of their religion. There is no reason to assume *any* of them to be correct especially since they cannot show that the events that they want to assign to their god ever happened.
And let’s look at this train wreck of an “analogy”.
It immediately fails since there is no “woman” to listen to or follow. We only have Joe’s baseless claims there is. He claims she doesn’t answer, because Joe knows that his god doesn’t either. How convenient. But a woman would answer. It’s just a story that Joe has invented that requires she does not.
Joe has to claim it doesn’t matter what she says or doesn’t say or looks like or doesn’t look like. He makes an entirely baseless assumption with no evidence at all, only his assumption that there is a woman there in the first place. There is no reason at all to think this woman is better informed. Joe must assume she is since his argument depends on this woman being his impotent god that does nothing.
To believe means no more than accepting what tells you as the truth/fact. It has nothing to do with how you came to that conclusion. Nope, we would not all agree that we would “take what she said as true” with respect to any actions in our lives. Maybe some would, but I as an atheist, have destroyed Joe’s “all” with my mere existence.
Joe also assumes we need to wait for someone to come to do something. Sorry, Joe, I don’t and no one does. Your analogy fails since you pose false dichotomies every step of the way to try to limit the answers to the ones you want to hear.
I do love a Christian who thinks that he can hedge his bets by kinda believing in a god just in case. His god must be quite dumb.
Joe has “faith” in the woman for the sole reason that she represents his god and it is required for his analogy to even remotely work.
Every Christian claims that they are following Christ as “the true guide”. That they all follow different paths shows that there is no reason to think any of them have the right one. Joe just makes excuses on why he doesn’t’ do what he thinks he should and expects forgiveness, treating his god as many theists claim that atheists treat it, as a vending machine.
We can see that you don’t trust this god/Jesus, Joe. IF you wont’ do what you think it wants you to, then nope, no trust at all. Actions speak far louder than words. Christians berate non-christians because how dare we ask for evidence. Funny how Thomas asked and received, Gideon asked and received. Suddenly, this god is hiding like a virgin on her wedding night when asked for evidence.
“42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. 45 But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. 47 That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.”
Always good to see yet again how the bible excuses slavery. Beating people for ignorance is abusive, nothing less. Considering how Christians have no evidence of a master, or any idea what it wants, this story fails from the first word.
Joe has done quite a bit to convince himself that he is what his god wants. Just like every other Christian. As for Paul and Jesus, they contradicted each other so Christians have no idea what they should be doing, picking and choosing what they want as usual. How to “walk the walk” is not explained.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”John 14:12
Nice of Joe to mention this verse from John which, along with Mark16 and James 5, claims that TrueChristians™ can do miracles. Joe and his fellow Christians can’t. Now, Joe tries to claim that it just means “works” which is quite a false statement, considering the context. “1 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”
The “works” are the miracles that JC has supposedly been doing that define him as this god, not just wandering around. If it were just wandering around, then the apostles have already been doing that. Christians do enjoy taking things out of context, and shucks, they always try to claim that atheists do when we don’t. The actual words used say that Christiansn will be able to do miracles like JC did when indicating his was some god.
In this set of verses, the author of John makes no distinction between “good works” and “signs” aka miracles. Miracles are indeed deeds/actions. A sign is a miracle, see John 2.
And again, Joe tries to rewrite the bible to not mean what it says. This character Jesus is interested in both miracles and humans doing good. Joe offers a false dichotomy.
No, the debate can’t go on, since Joe has decided to invent a god that isnt’ quite what we see in his magical book. Joe is quite an example “Hey god, I did things for you in your name, isn’t that enough?
This essay isn’t for atheists, it’s for Joe to try to convince himself he’s done enough. He has to invent a god that ignores what the bible says about it. He’s just invented his own version of Christianity. Anything that Joe doesn’t like is just considered “absurd”.
your god repeatedly kills people for things out of their control, Joe. Witness David’s son, the children of the various tribes your god demanded that its followers commit genocide on.
You are a Christian and a Catholic. Just like them, you make up nonsense. You need to now claim you aren’t that “interested” in arguing for your god, and the reason why is that yep, all of those apologetics fail. You have to make a decision, realize that the religion is a lie, or invent a whole new one. Not surprising which you chose. You need ignorance.
The Catholic church does claim that atheism, the knowledge that there is no god is a mortal sin, and the Catholic Church does not have a fair god at all. What is fair about killing children, Joe? And it’s great for you to declare that the miracles don’t’ matter when your very own messiah supposedly says that they are so very important, that one can believe in them rather than him. But it’s great to claim they aren’t important when you can’t show that they ever happened. Not “even one”. So, no magic man who knows more than other humans.
“In this scenario it is best to go with the guidance that has the best chance of being correct even if that chance is below 50%.” Aka Pascal’s Wager and nothing more. Joe wants to pretend his god did miracles, but the number isnt’ important now, and how we know who has the right religion, is dependent on who can show the miracles.
Yep, ladies and gentlemen, we have a quite a blowout in Joe’s argument.
Finally, Joe again recommends “fake it til you make it”, which assumes a stupid god. It also assumes that Christian shave one universal moral guide. They don’t. Each is a god unto himself. “Keep following Christ until a more sure moral guide to how you should live shows up. And by that I do mean you should consider the chance that Mohammed or Confucius or Sam Harris, or you yourself know better how you should live than Christ. In making that judgment you should consider how anyone might even be able to reliably understand what we should do in a moral sense and who might possibly be in a better informed position.”
Imaginary characters don’t have a moral sense or an informed position.
Thank you for commenting on my blog. You wrote quite a bit but I wouldn’t mind commenting on a few things.
“What humans do is follow the behaviors that benefit civilization. Those who don’t are considered the pariahs. No god needed at all. We learn what works by trial and error, again no gods needed. Reason alone can get us there. Joe cannot show why it cannot. However he wants to pretend that some god has given him the “premises” and “values”.”
Those who don’t follow the behaviors that “benefit civilization” (whatever you might mean by that) are considered pariahs by whom? Some people like Stalin, Mao, and Reagan others think they are monsters. How does “reason alone” get us there?
Science can not get us to morality because we do not actually see smell hear touch or taste evil. We need to rely on something beyond our empirical senses. It is interesting that every time scientific morality has been tried on a large scale it seems to have ended in moral atrocities. Whether it is progressivism in this country that promoted racism and eugenics or communism and fascism in other countries.
You suggest that Jesus is referring to his miracles based on context. Again if John understood it as his miracles he could have used the word miracle. I do agree that works can include miracles but the works is broader and nothing in the context you quote suggests Jesus is talking about his miracles as opposed to his actions. Also you cut off right where Jesus is making it clear that he wants us to follow his commands.
” “If you love me, keep my commands. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be c in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
22Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”
Unless you think keeping his command requires a miracle you will see that he is not asking his apostles to do greater miracles but rather to keep his commands to love God and each other. So I think the context is much more in line with his saying he wants them to do greater acts of charity rather than miracles.
Obviously in Matthew he is clear he is not talking about miracles because he explicitly says miracles will not be proof you are with him.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
So it is hard to read scriptures and think Jesus was telling people the way to heaven is to do miracles. He is explicitly saying that will not save you if you are an “evildoer”.
So your “interpretation” changes the actual words Jesus said and it contradicts what Jesus said in other places. My interpretation in no way requires changing the words used. It is also consistent with what Jesus said in other places.
Joe, I think you do understand what I mean by “benefit civilization”. Those laws that protect the person and property. And the many consider those who do not cooperate, the few, paraiahs. And yes, reason alone gets us here since Christians, and other theists, can’t agree on what morality their god wants. Reason doesn’t work perfectly, but, as I said, trial and error.
Yep, people disagree about Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Trump, etc. Again, reason isn’t perfect but its all we have. Just watch Christians disagree on who is a monster and who isn’t. No godly knowledge there. You all make up your god in your image and surprise, it tells you want you want to hear.
I’m still waiting for you to show me that your god exists and what else you are using other than reason. You do claim that some god gave you the premises and values. It is not hard at all to see that is not true.
Science can indeed get us to morality since it shows the facts, not myths and lies told by theists when they want to pretend their god agrees with them. We can know evil by the harm it does. And again, Christians don’t agree on what “evil” is, so you have nothing but opinion.
You unsurprisingly try to lie about science and atheism and morality. Everytime a megalomaniac has been in charge, there have been atrocities. But funny how your god does genocide and that isn’t a moral atrocity at all. It’s all about might equals right for many Christians. I do love the lie that progressivism “promoted racism”. Do show evidence for that lovely conservative lie, Joe.
No, Joe, I know that the author who is writing JC is referring to his miracles in context. We have the author, not John, using various words and we know that “works” is used in the place of miracles in the bible. You are certainly desperate to pretend otherwise. The context is about prayers being answered e.g. miracles. And I did not “cut right off”, to where JC wants us to follow his commands. But let’s look at this again: “8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. “
These are two separate thoughts, and even the translators know this considering the divisions they put in. There is nothing to alter the “anything” in this chapter, Joe. It is indeed awkward for you but that’s what you get by thinking that ignorant men a couple of thousand years ago knew what they were doing. I am glad you continued with the verses since it shows that JC ignored Judas’ question.
I do enjoy your attempt at deceit since these verses have JC saying his apostles can do miracles like him and greater *and* it says that they should love each other and god. It is not one or the other. There is nothing here about doing “greater acts of charity”. As you said, if that is what he meant, surely “john” would have written exactly that, right? Now, we have JC supposedly saying “11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves” Now, why would he say this about normal activities of humans, being charitable, as a reason to believe he was god?
Matthew says “21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
It’s interesting that JC doesn’t say that miracles will not be or not be proof of him here. He simply says that he will reject some people. Now, how can supposedly evil people do miracles just like JC? If you can’t tell the differences, what is the problem here?
“So it is hard to read scriptures and think Jesus was telling people the way to heaven is to do miracles. He is explicitly saying that will not save you if you are an “evildoer”.”
And I never said that. I said that JC said that anyone who believes in him can do miracles. You can’t, so we have limited answers: you are fraud and or the bible lies.
Nope, my interpretation changes nothing. You invented a strawman to attack.
“I do love the lie that progressivism “promoted racism”. Do show evidence for that lovely conservative lie, Joe.”
Progressives promoted racism and eugenics in the name of science. Here are a few books that go into it:
The headings are not actually in scripture. They are not “translations” they are inserts.
Jesus gave us moral instruction and examples that we can use as premises as to how we should live.
You seem to find some very disagreeable Christians. I don’t see as much moral disagreement between Christians as I do between people that are not Christians. But again that is just my own experience.
Mao, Stalin, Himmler, Speer, Sam Harris, Gandhi, Confucius, Mohamed, Plato, Peter Singer, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Un, Aristotle, etc. all seem to have very different moral views than Christians have between each other.
Michael Zheludev said:
well said sir
actually it’s ma’am 😀
Michael Zheludev said:
whoops D: noted, mb 😅
“The Catholic church does claim that atheism, the knowledge that there is no god is a mortal sin, and the Catholic Church does not have a fair god at all. What is fair about killing children, Joe?”
Are you saying this God (that you claim to know doesn’t exist) killed children?
E Kariuki said:
You have created such a profound post here, I mostly liked this line; ” I think it is silly to think another natural person will give us guidance unless they are getting it from a supernatural source”
But I would like to add or differ a bit in the area of faith. First, everyone is free to believe what they feel as true depending on their capacity of faith. There shouldn’t be arguments but using our human ability to reason, its easy to tell what is real and what is not. For example, It doesnt make sense for for anyone to say God doesn’t exit, whether christian or not. If we ourselves exist, knowing that none of us created themselves, Then there is a creator. It doesn’t matter what we call him or how we percieve him but he is there.
Someone doesn’t need a miracle to believe there is God. We ourselves are miracles. Which one is easier? To create many loafs with one loaf of bread or to create several human beings. Ofcourse a human is more complex but people will tend to believe anything done out of the norm. Its human nature afterall.