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And why are you so certain that you and Matt Barber have the truth? Why are you so certain that an ancient book written by fallible men contains the word of God? God gave you free will and you chose to worship a book? What does that say about your faith and your beliefs that you need to adhere to the writings of pre-modern men from a repressive Iron Age culture? If you are not willing to ask these questions or even consider the possibility that you might be wrong, then your faith is by definition blind and unreasonable.
AlwaysLiberty, none of what you said means that the bible is the infallible word of God. It only means that considerable effort was made to compile and preserve it, thanks in large part to the support of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Despite these efforts, a full manuscript of the bible doesn't emerge until the 4th century AD and much of the content came from fragments of manuscripts that came centuries before.
Richard, my responses are as follows: 1) Nothing in this quote implies that the laws were prescribed through books written by ancient men and translated by ancient men to be retranslated many times over by slightly less ancient men. 2) Even if God gave the law, that doesn't mean God used a book. Why would any deity use a book at a time when most people cannot read or write except those in the priestly class who hold sway over the masses? It makes no sense and reeks of men seeking to assert influence rather than God. 3) Non-sequiter. Nothing about what Jesus said indicates that the bible that would be published centuries after his death would be inerrant. The truth is not written in ancient texts written by fallible men. That is patently obvious and there's a reason why biblical literalism didn't come along until many years after the death of Christ. To worship texts over God is tantamount to idolatry.
Why is the bible an either/or prospect? Could it just be that early Christians wrote vast accounts of literature concerning their beliefs as humans have done in every culture during every time period? There's no reason to believe that the writings of the bible were divinely inspired because it is pretty well-documented that the bible was compiled by a council of fallible men over the course of many centuries. And does the presence of hundreds of denominations of Christianity not imply strongly that the bible is as fallible as the men who wrote it? By that logic, those who worship the bible as the literal word of God are apostates as well because they worship a book over a deity.
1) The written word is not written by God. It is written by fallible men. Is it not just a tad bit convenient that this same word is consistent with pre-modern Jewish culture? 2) Again, the bible was written by men and not compiled fully until centuries after the events took place and within a society where the vast majority of people were illiterate. The first century Middle East was hardly the most educated place on the world at the time. Why would any God choose ancient books? 3) If you are not open to any possibility that you could be wrong, then your faith and beliefs are by definition unreasonable. And being unreasonable, they are blind. Being blind, they are without merit.
Richard, the bible is a book. It was written by fallible men, translated by fallible men, and compiled by fallible men. This shows in the many disagreements that have emerged over the centuries regarding the meaning of the bible. The bible is NOT God, nor should it be worshipped as such. The very concept of worshipping the bible is not only unreasonable, it constitutes idolatry. There are approximately 2,500 denominations of Christianity. They all believe that their way is the right way. And there have been many more over the centuries that are no longer practiced. How do you determine which of these constitute false doctrine? And why is using a fallible book like the bible reasonable? Are you open to the possibility that there's another way to determine false doctrine?
Good points all around. Add to that for most of human history, the majority of the population was illiterate. The idea of biblical infallibility is a very modern concept, born largely from strict Protestant sects. It is not consistent with the teachings of the early church, but it does give the Matt Barbers of the world a convenient excuse to never have to refute their arguments.
AIDS cannot be contracted via saliva. And your assumptions about how marijuana is ingested is inaccurate. Not everybody uses marijuana that way in the same way not everybody drinks alcohol the same way. The main difference is that alcohol is legal and it is documented to have killed a lot of people. Marijuana by comparison has no such documentation, yet is deemed illegal. Is that really logical or even moral?
A good and very relevant article. I agree that spoiled children often become spoiled adults. Those who are given everything they ask for come to expect as such as they get older. It's important to instill in children a sense of value and work ethic. My own personal experience has taught me this. My parents made me and my siblings work to get the things we wanted. It's a value I'm grateful they gave me and future generations can only benefit from such values.
You make a perfectly valid point. The concept of a non-believer and the "unaffiliated" is not clearly defined. Those who just say they are Christian, but don't take it that seriously fall into a gray category of sorts that isn't the same as someone who professes to be an atheist. I think that's something worth researching further because people who identify as Christian without being that serious about it have other influences that might be in play here. Without knowing what those influences are, the data for Christians and non-believers alike is abound to be skewed.
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