Thursday, May 10, 2007

God on Nightline - Part II

Oh, and besides the inevitable impasse, both sides trotted out what are (to me) the usual useless assertions (they're not arguments, they're assertions).

Atheist assertion: Religion causes wars and violence.

Fact: People cause wars and violence. People are so stupid and evil that they'll cause wars and violence over practically anything. The bloody wars of the 20th century weren't about religion. And in the personal realm, apparently most people who are attacked or murdered have as their assailant someone who claims to "love" the victim (spouse, parent, child, sibling). So under this reasoning, "love" is bad.

Atheist assertion: You can't prove Jesus existed.

Fact: I'm not sure I can prove that anything exists, except what's in my immediate field of vision. But let's forget such extreme skepticism and just have a more regular proof:

1) the Romans crucified thousands of Jewish men in Palestine in the first half of the first century;
2) "Jesus" was a very common name at the time;
THEREFORE - it seems very likely that a Jewish man named Jesus was crucified in the first half of the first century.

HUH? (You say.) You heard me. You didn't say I had to prove Jesus did and said everything reported in the New Testament (which can't be proved and is a matter of faith). So get over it: a man named Jesus lived in the first century and was crucified by the Romans. Christians believe other things about him that you can disagree with. In fact, Christians believe a great many things about him about which they disagree amongst themselves. Disagreement is good. It makes us think more carefully and subtly and let's us develop new positions. Try it.

Christian assertion: This whole mess is cause by you people believing in evolution.

Fact: No, a lot of animosity against Christianity is caused by Christians behaving like illiterate, irrational fools, and then forcing their beliefs on others. Evolution is a scientific theory with a lot of evidence to support it, and a smaller body of evidence against it. Get over it. To say that God could only make life in the way you imagine it and not through some process that you find disturbing is the height of arrogance and ignorance. And God doesn't like those qualities.


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