- 6 years ago
- Wedding: July 2013 - UK
@Brace2014: I thought long and hard about replying to this. Just a few points…
– The Bible is not the “word of G-d” as you put it. It means “G-d breathed/G-d inspired”. There is a huge difference. In fact, this is one of the main theological and interperative points which separate Christianity and Islam. It’s to do with the concept of interpretive theology, which I am more than happy to explain, but it may take some time. Basically, it’s to do with how the message is altered to a greater or lesser extent when it is filtered through imperfect human vessels.
– As far as modern prophets go, that’s another rather long debate, but an interesting one. I have some insights which are historical and involve things like the New Religion movement, but again… rather long.
– “How come religious people get to decide what rules they will follow in the bible and still be able to call themselves christians” This is a current theological debate: that of literalism vs rationalism. And this really is a loooong debate!
– “If the bible is so true and important and great, why don’t we follow that ONE ORIGNIAL bible.” Historical debate as to origins of text… see also literalism vs rationalism debate.
– “Why did he create the murderers and rapists and psychopaths to live but kill innocent babies and children with disease?” Theological debate: problem of evil.
I say this because these are ongoing debates within the field of theology. They are not cut and dried facts which either prove or disprove the existence of a higher power. Now, a few other points…
– Individuals are social creatures whose morality is evolving, but is certainly culturally and socially influenced. Humans have large programmable brains which have allowed us to rule the world, and those brains are programmed during a long dependency period, much longer than that of other mammals. Therefore, morality is only individual to a certain extent. As I expect you have been raised in a country within which Judeo-Christian values predominate, your morality has certainly been influenced by those values even if you yourself are not religious. Also, I’m not sure that there is a consensus on what Biblical morality actually is (see the literalism vs rationalism, and interpretational debate again), so I’m not sure how anyone could have better morals than the Bible when those morals are not set in stone anyway.
– The government does not create guidelines… it creates legislation which reflects the feelings and beliefs of it’s citizens. If it doesn’t, we change the government. That’s the joy of democracy. What I’m saying is that governments are not the leading moral force within the world, fairly obviously, as they owe their power to mob rule.
– Now… the coincidence. Imagine a man enters a casino. He puts all of his money on the roulette wheel, on zero. Zero wins! He puts it all on zero again. Zero wins! He does this four or five times, and then takes the huge amount of money he has. Here’s the question: did he cheat?
It is certainly possible that he was very lucky. The laws of possibility are such that, of all the billions of spins in casinos in the world, this could have been mere chance. However, it is so incredibly improbable that I would expect the pit boss to stop him at the door and use all of their powers to make sure he was not cheating. This is how many believers feel. Is it possible that the Earth was made through evolution and chance? Of course! But it is so improbable, so unlikely, and we are so lucky to be here that it is not illogical to look for some higher power guiding the process along. It is no more illogical to believe in that higher power than it is for the casino pit boss to go to his grave believing that the man in his casino who won by placing all his chips on zero cheated in some way. That’s human nature.
I say this only to point out that belief is not necessarily illogical. I’m not arguing that it’s necessarily logical, either, but there’s a bigger gap between the two than most people realise.
PS Although I’m not an ornathologist either, the reason birds fly in v shapes is to do with wind resistance. Birds use updrafts to keep themselves in the air. The lead bird catches the updraft and creates a v shaped gap within the air currents with it’s wingips which the other birds can utilise to keep them airborne more efficiently. It has nothing to do with the bird and everything to do with the wind. All the bird is doing is taking advantage of a mechanical process… it isn’t acting intelligently in any way. It is just following the path of least wind resistance. I don’t think there’s evidence for it being either a creationist or an evolutionary process, to be honest. It’s just an example of opportunism. But no, I don’t think it’s evidence for creationism either.