OK, so how many of you have been in a discussion with a Christian and you get so some point where their religion simply does not makes any sense? Oh, of course; like all the time. Things such as, how could a good and loving god send his children to eternal torment? Or, how could a loving god order his chosen people to commit genocide on a regular basis? Or to flip it around, how could a loving god allow someone else to commit genocide on his own chosen people, aka the Holocaust? How could a good god condone slavery? How exactly does killing things, animals or Jesus, make this god happy when we do things he does not like? That is just weird.
I think you get the point. The contradictions, logical fallacies, and general weirdness of the bible and the Christian religion go on and on and on. We all know that this stuff does not make any logical sense whatsoever.
But here is the funny thing. We all knew this in some way even when we were Christians, and current Christians know it now. They just have an escape route. You know what it is. I'm not saying anything new here. They say of course, "We can't understand God's ways."
So why am I writing about something we have all known for a long time? Do I have anything new to offer? I don't know -- maybe for some.
What inspired this rant is when I recently saw "Religious" by Bill Maher -- great movie by the way -- and this idea of not questioning god came up several times. I did not think he responded well at these points in the film. For example when Ken Ham asked Bill "Are you god?" Which is just another way of saying we can't question god. Bill just shook his head and said "No." Or when the actor playing Jesus at the theme park said "God's ways are higher than ours." All Bill said was something like "Maybe our thinking should be higher."
I have a suggestion for Bill and anyone else that has not already thought of it.
Here it is: I am not questioning god. I am questioning a fictional character in a book written by humans. It is OK to question a fictional character in a book, right?
Here are some things I can get Christians to agree on:
- It is OK to question books and the info they contain. In fact they do it all the time with other books.
- It is OK to question the authors of books. To question who the author is, to question their intent and motives, to question the events that were going on at the time of the writing, etc.
- It is OK to question the actions of characters in a book. Fictional or not.
- If the book is supposed to be history or biography, it is OK to double check the facts to see if they match reality. For example, is there any evidence for the ability of a person to live in a fish?
- It is OK to question the editors and publishers of a book; to look at their intentions and biases.
- All the deities in the books of the other religions are fictional, and it OK to question them.
They will have to agree that it is OK to question books in this regard. They have to agree to this because they do it with everyone else's book but their own.
So in essence, what the Christian is saying is not "You can't question god." What they are really saying is, "You can't question my book." To which I reply with a firm and resounding "Bullshit!"
They do not have a real god, all they have is a book. That is all, plain and simple. Nothing more. If you question the book, the whole thing crumbles.
At this point of course, their response turns into a death spiral of circular logic. You have all been there. "God inspired the book." How do we know? "The book says so." Why can we trust that? "Because god inspired the book." And around and around she goes.
All I am suggesting is a way to get them off the merry-go-round. If the Christian enjoys their spinning, there is not much we can do for them. But let's take the focus of the argument off some invisible, unprovable being and put it right where it belongs -- the bible. Show that the bible is a pile of crap, and any belief in the god of the bible is crippled.
To conclude: We and Christians all agree that a lot of their religion -- which you and I know is based on nothing more than the book -- does not make sense to us humans. But they say we must believe it anyway, or as the book says, god will send us to a lake of fire.
I simply say, if the book does not make sense, then I see no reason to believe it.
I am not questioning god. I am questioning a book written by humans. Simple as that. If a god ever decides to stop pretending not to exist, I'll be happy to hear what it has to say. But to rely on some book in the mean time? Oh come on, don't be ridiculous.