The do-over

the do-over

Trying to appease God to gain entrance in an afterlife is the cause of so many of the worlds problems. If we were to drop the notion of an afterlife, we could still keep the beneficial aspects of religion. Just jettison the bad stuff.

If people stopped believing in an afterlife, what sane person would decide that a reasonable way to eternally provide for their family is to die as a martyr killing infidels. Some extremists believe that if you die as a martyr, then you and all your family are guaranteed entrance to heaven.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say something was a blessing… well that would be a blessing 😉

Oh, the sun is out… that’s a blessing.
Oh, it stopped raining… that’s a blessing.
Oh, its warm this morning… that’s a blessing.
Oh, my football team won the game…. that’s a blessing.
Oh, I found a penny on the ground… that’s a blessing.

Was there a Historic Jesus?

historic jesus This was originally postd on Linda’s blog back on Nov 12th and has generated quite a lot of discussion.

Genesis paints a nice little story of God creating the world in 6 days where man is created in His image. How much of the creation story, though, is simply anthropomorphic metaphor?The Christian gospels tell a nice little story of a human Jesus (who was the son of God) preaching to 12 disciples. Then after the crucifixion, the disciples went out and spread Jesus’s message of salvation and the new covenant.

There are problems, though. The earliest Christian writings, according to some scholars (like Earl Doherty’s book The Jesus Puzzle, website), did not explicitly refer to Jesus as a historical person. The historical references only occurred later at the time the gospels were written. The early Christian writers (like Paul) seemed to view the Christ only as a supernatural entity in a higher plane… not as a human being here on earth.

Could it be that our conventional view of Christianity really started with the gospel authors and not a historic person named Jesus? Could it be that the whole Jesus story was merely a way to make the divine Christ more accessible to the gentiles of the late 1st and 2nd century? And could it be that the alternative Christian viewpoints (like by Paul) simply died out?

What do people think? And what, if any, are the consequences for the modern Christian?

For example, is it really important that Christ walked the earth?

The Watchmaker

The Watchmaker

This comic is a reaction to the misleading watchmaker video at kids4truth.com which grossly mischaracterizes evolution.

I guess the “kids4truth” video is an example of “Intelligent Design’s” strategy of teaching both sides of an issue and then letting the kids decide.

Also, even if one finds gaps in the naturalistic explanation for meeting the conditions for evolution to proceed, it doesn’t necessarily follow that a god –must– be invoked to fill the “knowledge gap”. It would be better if our children studied hard in school and aspired to become scientists than to “cop-out” and blissfully become unquestioning believers and mindlessly repeat the mantra “god did it… god did it…. god did it….”

Force Fitting the bible

force fitting

Religion does a lot of the following. Take certain writings (like by Paul) where Paul believed “A” and then re-interpret the writings to mean “B” to be consistent with beliefs that formed later. Then point back to Paul’s writings and and say that they are in support of the “B” beliefs. In general, this is an approach to the world where certain beliefs are fixed and then all data made to fit or support the beliefs.

This is the opposite of the scientific method where (in theory) the data should be gathered and analyzed first, and then the conclusions (and beliefs) formed.