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Atheist Experience
Cafeteria Christians

Some people wonder how liberal Christians can pick and choose what parts of their religion to believe. I think the picking and choosing comes from the use of rational thought. The things they choose not to believe are the ones that do not make sense, but they never question the biggest question of whether there actually is a god in the first place. Here are some examples I thought of:

It's evil to let someone be tortured for eternity. God is not evil, therefore Hell does not exist.

It doesn't make any sense to think it's somehow harmful for two people of the same sex to be in a romantic relationship. God makes sense, therefore God thinks it's ok to be gay.

It is not true that women are inferior to men. God does not say false things, therefore God does not say that women are inferior to men.

Evolution is true and God created everything. Therefore, God is behind evolution and the creation story is metaphorical.

P.S. These are the kinds of things I used to think when I was a Christian. I think they allowed me to believe for a longer period of time. If I couldn't have made those things make sense in my head I think I would have abandoned my belief sooner.

Actually, I believe the picking and choosing isn't really picking and choosing and there isn't any rational thought going on at all.

Those Christians you refer to are following the societal norms, taking their standards of behavior from the people around them. Morals evolve, they are no longer the same as they were in biblical times. In order to fit in, and not be extremists on the fringes of society, religious people have to find work-arounds for scripture.

Glad you stopped drinking the kool-aid.

Mark 4:11, is what allows christians to pick and choose, it basically means jesus uses alot of metaphors, and so we can assume since jesus is god, god does the same. that is the logic behind it, if i read a robert frost poem, i may think its pretty simple what hes trying to say, mending wall for example, hes mending a wall, and then talkin about it with his neighbour, its pretty simple, but then robert frost says "metaphor is the whole of poetry" which is like what jesus said in mark4:11, he says he uses metaphors, it means there is a further meaning behind what is originaly said. robert frost meant this before he said the quote, and has used it in all his poetry, therefore we can use this to show how god used it in the old testiment.

was the penis made for sex, or reproduction, (reproduction) and so that is why god doesnt think it is right for people to use it with other men. its not what it was made for, another example, nucleur power was created as a form of energy, but then it was turned into a bomb, the bomb wasnt what it was made to do and is bad that it did.

you make alot of assumptions, but untill you can see it from their point of view, you can never get through to them, their view is as valid as yours, there is no proof there is no god, therefore you cant claim there is no god, ive found myself there is more proof to be a god, which i talked about on my post 'confused about the logic of atheism' i think you should listern to some sermons to understand what the metaphors are brocken down to mean.

What a great book, that Bible! It can mean anything you want it to.

mark 4:11

but yes it can mean alot, just like poetry, have you ever read a robert frost poem, why not try and read the bible like that (but if you do, read it properly and take into consideration what it actally ment rather than say, oh this means gods wrong, when chances are he was talking about something else.)

Reading the Bible like a Robert Frost poem is just fine, if one has firmly in mind that the Bible is literature.

If you think it's messages from some god, trying to read "hidden messages" can be a powerful justification for great harm.

If your god is all powerful and supposedly created you, but can't communicate clearly to, it seems your god is just in your confused imagination.

reading the bible is exactly NOT like reading a poem.

see, one is supposedly a manual for how to worship a god who will damn your soul to an eternity of suffering and anguish if you don't obey....and the other is just a damn poem.

if the word of your god is open to interpretation by mere human beings, then sorry, that is not a god-book. it is either the words of a divine being who we can not begin to comprehend...or it is not. make up your mind, you don't get to have it both ways. and frankly when you try, you sound like a total idiot.

To: Confused Christian - I discussed Mark 4:11 - posted on another topic - read it. It's meaningless bullshit that was pawned off on illiterate hicks as knowledge.

Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall" could easily be compared to religion the mother of all walls. It is a yelping dog that causes people to build walls, as well as, going to war to die for nothing. It has caused the bloody Crusades and The Witch Trials of Salem.

Compare the Robert Frost Peon "Mending Wall" to the John Lennon - Imagine lyrics "Imagine there's no Heaven - It's easy if you try - No hell below us - Above us only sky - Imagine all the people - Living for today"

There is no comparison to this Poetry and a book promoting the belief in a fake bullshit based on violence and bigotry - and is trying to keep brainwashed people on their knees in slavery and worship.

You are assuming that atheists have never read the bible like you assume everything you know. Before you discuss a subject you should actually know what the scholars consider authentic, and the bible is no exception. There's a big difference in reading a book and researching the material, and scholars do not consider rumor, gossip, or hearsay to be facts. Most of the time we never record something as historical data without this kind of scrutiny except for the bible. Have you ever done any research into the authenticity of the claims in the bible babble?

Many people think that the King James bible presents the original words of the authors as translated into English from the so-called original Greek text. However, the original Greek text was not written until around the mid-Fourth Century and was a revised edition of writings compiled decades earlier in Aramaic and Hebrew. Those earlier documents no longer exist and the bibles we have today are five linguistic removes from the first bibles written. What was written in the originals is unknown.

King James authorized the translation and publication of the first Protestant version of the bible into English. King James was a disgusting pig and no scholar. He passed the manuscripts on to Sir Francis Bacon. Sir Francis Bacon was appointed Solicitor General and Chief Advisor to the Crown. He had presented new ideas to the Government for the Reformation of the church and was officially instructed to commence restructuring the bible.

Original documents still exist which refer to important proceedings associated with Sir Francis Bacon's involvement with the editing of both the Old and New Testaments. These English language manuscripts of the bible were Bacon's translations that turned the bible into the Shakespearean prose and poetry of the King James Authorized Version. The whole composition of the Authorized bible was Francis Bacon's. When Bacon presented his Authorized Version to King James there was a dedication to the King ordered to be included in the opening pages. King James also wanted the phrase "Appointed to be read in the Churches" to appear on the title page. This was an announcement clarifying that King James had personally given the church orders for this particular version of the bible to be used in preference to the Greek, Latin and Vulgate bibles. The King James bible was written in order to defend the authority of the King in the revisions of the texts, and there is plenty of examples of scripture that does exactly that.

The New Testament approves being ruled over by a monarchy, and the bible tells Christians how to behave. Romans 13:1: "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Because King James' bible was written to support the authority of a king, the later church often referred to it as the one from authority, and that is how it came to be known as the officially "authorized" version.

In 1929 to the present day literally thousands of texts have been found at Ugarit including the discovery of the Ras Shamra texts, predating the Old Testament. The Ugaritic text is the oldest written text ever discovered. Since the discovery of the Ugaritic materials at Ras Shamra, there has been a great deal of comparative work done in order to explicate the relationship between the Canaanite pantheon and cult, and Israelite faith and practice. These comparisons are necessary for interpretation of biblical texts and the customs written of in the Old Testament that were previously not clearly understood. It's obvious you haven't gone back that far.

El was the ancestral deity of the Semites. El appears also in Arabia under the expanded form Ilah, who's plural of majesty is the Hebrew Elohim. The names ending in el and in ilah are more numerous in the various Arabic dialects than those in honor of any other deity. Taken as a whole, they are to be considered as survivals, as it has been proven that they were preponderant in ancient Akkadian and in Aramaic. Since the word el corresponds to the word god, it has been rightly concluded that the Semites invoked only El.

El was lifted out of obscurity to be used as the name of the eternal, exclusive, unique, all-powerful God of monotheistic religions. This required that El be shorn of his consorts, children, peers, sexuality etc. The first occasion, was when the Israelites identified him with their God YHWH, appropriating a number of Canaanite El's titles or epithets, as part of the process of developing the monotheism of the Torah. Then, much later, under Jewish and Christian influence, Muhammad declared El, under his Arabic designation, Allah, to be the one true God founding Islam.

Many of the sacrifices mentioned in the Ugaritic texts have names, which are identical to those, described in the book of Leviticus. Ugaritic texts speak of the Burnt Offering, the Whole Burnt Offering, the Trespass Offering, the Offering for Expiation of the Soul; the Wave Offering, the Tribute Offering, the First Fruits Offering, the Peace Offering, and the New Moon Offering. The term "offering without blemish" also appears in the Ugaritic literature. In Carthage, a Phoenician-Canaanite colony near present-day Tunis, he and his consort were the main or only gods to which child sacrifices, which took place on a massive scale, were dedicated. It is clear that Ugaritic and early biblical Hebrew POETRY share a common literary tradition.

You can discuss the origins, history, and authenticity of any subject with people who are adequately informed. However, few Christians are informed about the archeological finds concerning the OT or the NT since most of them have only read the Bible

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