Friday, January 16, 2009

More religious debate:

To answer Dennis's questions with I HOPE brevity. I believe science has answered some of the questions (ONLY SOME) of physical truths that early man did not know and the bible therefore got completely wrong. Therefore the bible in most instances cannot be treated as fact because it gets all manner of scientific truth phenomenally wrong. Early man did not know the sun was the center of our galaxy. The church fought that fact tooth and nail because is made man and his earth not the center and maybe not so important and went against biblical thought. Early man did not know that bacteria/virues caused infection and disease. I believe early man had NO idea regarding human sexuality. Early man did not know evolution is FACT and that our earth is BILLIONS of years old. Early man did not know dinosaurs roamed the earth before they. The list of the mistakes of early man and biblical mistakes is infinite. There are too many errors to enumerate here.

As for moral law, I beleive every culture even if polytheistic ones has to have moral rules. Even Communist cultures while we know they are worthy of critique had a moral law. Our own culture which is Judeo/Christian bastardized and still does morality by the slaughter in history of innocents but it does have a code of moral law. Every culture transgresses their moral law. George Bush the touter of biblical morality supreme crushed moral law.

I think people can obey certain strictures without god. A society functions much better if it does not cheat, steal, kill, bear false witness i.e. lie or do the nasty with everyone a human being meets. They can remain faithful to their spouse without god as many many if not most atheists or agnostics do. We see the most religious in our culture fool around infinitely. I believe the respressive nature of the Judeo Christian tradition makes for a crazy culture that does not know what to do with its sexual appetites. Just look at the Catholic church. My goodness just look at it over the centuries. There were many cultures before ours which had a moral law. Whether they obeyed it or not is up for discussion. To err has ALWAYS been human.

I do not say god is anything because I do not believe a sky god exists. Am I awed by the universe YES completely. Do I know what created it all -- as BIll Maher says in his EXCELLENT film Religulous -- I do NOT know. Religionists THINK they know. They don't.

I believe man is an evolved being. I believe life evolved from one celled organisms over BILLIONS actually TRILLIONS of years. Evolution needs one important ingredient: TIME and the right set of circumstances. To say anything else is sheer nonsense and science proves it so over and over and over again. Evolution is at work constantly. If religion had as much proof as science does they would be screaming it from the rafters. They don't and I think most except the supremely dumb realize it but try like hell to prove otherwise. They cannot.
Another in a series of dialogues I had with an individuals on a local newspaper site:

Religion and Truth -- I sympathize with your comments although I am not Catholic I sprang from a people whose influence on the New Testament was profound. The beliefs about Jesus are that which the human mind says they are. The New Testament Gospels are a compilation of different writers. It was written in Greek long after the so called death of Jesus. Even Jesus himself may be a compilation of many stories and ideas of the area at that time and significantly before that time. There is NO evidence that meets historical scrutiny that he even existed. There is nothing on Roman coins or artifacts depicting him or in writings which site him, with the exception of the Gospels, which have an agenda (and Josephus doesn't count either because it too had an agenda), whose historicity is accurate and believable indicating that someone so profound to the populous and such a threat to the Roman state ever existed. No consequential EVIDENCE exists. One would think a man of that impact would be mentioned historically, as other historical events surely are, in ancient Roman writings, artifacts or even on Jewish artifacts or coins. There isn't any. The ONLY things of historical identification which jet propelled this religion are human beings' cerebral synaptic connections which included the dream of an emperor Constantine before a battle and his wife's influence of him in 300 or so AD.

Likewise, the Hebrew Bible, too, was written by a number of different people. An excellent and scholarly book with NO agenda was written and entitled 'Who Wrote the Bible' by Richard Friedman. Some of the proofs, among several, that the Old Testament -- the Christian appellation. It is called the Hebrew Bible by Jews -- is written by multiple men are that (a) the writing styles of the Old Testament are significantly different (b) contain different accounts of the same event and (c) in the Five Books of Moses -- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy -- Moses, the attributable author of those books, is writing after his own death; highly unlikely. The Bible emerges out of an assortment of pagan and oral mythological lore from a variety of cultures at that time and by those who preceded them. Some biblical stories are nearly identical to other pagan stories which preceded biblical text.

If someone tells me and then writes that my leg is paralyzed because of bad humors or because of a witch's spell or because a man named Mephistopheles came down and infused it with green slime, or because a supreme being hated me, I can believe that sure ... if I want ... but is it TRUE? When science became sophisticated enough it could unequivocally determine that a viral entity called poliomyelitis unequivocally caused that paralysis and it was not caused because someone hated me, or because I planted my crops in error, made a god mad by doing some trivial thing like eating a shrimp or by a witch's spell. I believe that simile is a good one.

Religion takes natural, physiological and psychological phenomenon and attributes it to some mystical, mysterious and inexplicable super power which defies the laws of science. That's ALL religion is ... ALL monotheistic religion everywhere -- is a compilation of men's (I emphasize men) BELIEFS, superstitions and mythological creeds which morphed into some cohesive (sort of) entity to explain the complexities and inexplicabilities of life. That does NOT mean that any of it is factually true. It is a shock to my system in the age of technological and scientific advancement that human beings capable of intelligent and rational thought still persist and rely on documents written between 5000 and 2000 years ago to justify just about ANYTHING they want to believe. It simply means human beings are capable of diverse and illogical thought because men fear illness, hard times, ultimately death and need to explain catastrophes which they do not understand to get through this life with significantly less anxiety. That does not, as my atheist friend says, make it true as much as most of us (including me) would LOVE to make it so. If one wants to take religion as allegory or metaphor that is acceptable but to pass it off as unequivocal truth is simply unequivocally wrong.