Xianity: Two Internal Contradictions

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Xianity: Two Internal Contradictions

It seems there are two fatal flaws to Xianity.

 

first, though, let me say why I was thinking about this.  Often in debates the Spuernaturalist will claim that the internal contradiction of materialism is that it can't go from impersonal Matter to consicousness.  There are others that are brought up, but this one seems to be the hardest to answer.  Mostly, because it asks that the Naturalist come up with an answer to the question "why are we here" - but this, to a naturalist - is a non-question. (Like "what is North of the North pole?&quotEye-wink

 

So, here are two glaring internal errors to Xianity that I believe make it unteneble.

 

A. Possible Worlds.  The general philosophical gist: If God is All-Good, All-Loving, All-Powerful, All-Knowing (or, even maximally so), in all possible worlds he would have made the best possible world.

 

The standard response from the Xian is that this IS the best possible world, even with all the evil and suffering.

 

Then, they will mention Heaven.

 

At first, it would be tempting to say that both Heaven and Earth are of one possible state of affairs (one world).  This would make sense only if beings with souls (i.e., humans - according to the doctrine) didn't die before they experienced the Earthly world.  that is, it only makes sense to use the proving ground of Earth if it actually does something for the person.  If the person dies in the womb or shortly after, there was no point - since they are presumably wisked away to Heaven - a better place.

And, by all accounts, Xians claim Heaven is a better place - for the born and unborn equally.

 

That is, the internal contradiction is that the answer to the PoE is that THIS state of affairs is the best possible world, but that Heaven alone is a best possible world. (Consider, too, that when the Earth ends, the Xian believes that Heaven will still be a best possible world - and many of it's tenets will have never experienced an Earthly existence.

 

This is a fatal contradiction:

1. An All-Good, All-Loving, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, (or maximally so) - i.e., the Xian God would create the best possible state of affairs.

2. Creating the Earth, Heaven (and Hell, but not necessarily) is the best possible state of affairs.

3. If the Xian God did not create the best possible state of affairs, then it is not a maximally potent god, and not a Xian god.

4. Heaven alone is a better state of affairs (as per Xian doctrine)

5. As per Xian doctrine, god did not create the best possible state of affairs.

6. Therefore, the Xian god cannot exist.

(I'll work on the flow - I'll take suggestions)

 

Basically: God didn't make the best possible world: he made two worlds, one better than the other (Heaven).  And Heaven doesn't need Earth to exist in order to be better.

 

B.  The Sinful Nature of Man.   This one is straight forward.  Xians claim that Man is sinful by Nature.  That the flesh cannot be pure - that only God incarnate (Jesus) was perfect.  Sinful means that Man is corrupt in mind and body: morally, physically, emotionally, intellectually, etc.

 

There is nothing Man can do to not be sinful.

 

Xians claim that you can know God through a number of means: Personal Revelation, Reason, Faith, etc.

 

All of these are processes of Man and therefore inherently corrupt.  A person cannot know, based on the very reason for their religion, whether they are correct in recognizing the right religion, that Jesus was in fact perfect (Man can't recognize perfection!), that God spoke to them, etc.

 

They can't tell if it is clearly God speaking to them and they completely understand, if God is speaking to them but they are misreading the message, if Satan is speaking to them but sounds like God, or if their own physically corrupted mind is playing tricks on them.

Once the Xian claims that they are sinful and corrupt, they are in no position to make claims to recognize perfection.

It is as though they are saying: "You can't trust what I say - but you can trust god."

Worse, they often say, "search yourself and trust in god!" "You must open your heart to god and then you will believe!"

 

Andrea Yates, anyone?

 

 

 

 

These are two incredible contradictions that make Xianity completely unteneble for me.  i'd love to hear if the logic is sound - if not - it may just prove my point even more! hahaah

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


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Quote:B.  The Sinful Nature

Quote:

B.  The Sinful Nature of Man.   This one is straight forward.  Xians claim that Man is sinful by Nature.  That the flesh cannot be pure - that only God incarnate (Jesus) was perfect.  Sinful means that Man is corrupt in mind and body: morally, physically, emotionally, intellectually, etc.

 

There is nothing Man can do to not be sinful.

 

Xians claim that you can know God through a number of means: Personal Revelation, Reason, Faith, etc.

 

All of these are processes of Man and therefore inherently corrupt.  A person cannot know, based on the very reason for their religion, whether they are correct in recognizing the right religion, that Jesus was in fact perfect (Man can't recognize perfection!), that God spoke to them, etc.

 

They can't tell if it is clearly God speaking to them and they completely understand, if God is speaking to them but they are misreading the message, if Satan is speaking to them but sounds like God, or if their own physically corrupted mind is playing tricks on them.

Once the Xian claims that they are sinful and corrupt, they are in no position to make claims to recognize perfection.

It is as though they are saying: "You can't trust what I say - but you can trust god."

Worse, they often say, "search yourself and trust in god!" "You must open your heart to god and then you will believe!"

 

Andrea Yates, anyone?

 

I can't beat this horse enough.

 

God creates man, God makes man free, through his freedom man becomes 'sinful' (breeches an arbitrary rule God imposed). Therefore, the only way to become 'free' of one's 'sin' is to accept a ritualistic human sacrifice and 'open your heart to God' (do whatever the orthodoxy demands of you).

That someone could argue of the virtue of this position with any sincerity is simply baffling to me.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


JustAnotherBeliever
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The more I hang out here,

The more I hang out here, the less I take the bible literally (which is hard to let go of. ) So, lets say the fall of man was not one act but just mans nature to rebel and be selfish. I would like to live in a place one day that is like here but without the selfishness of people. So that includes myself. Heaven is that place. Hell is the place that is a continuation of here but apparently worse. I have to be willing to give up that part of myself that would eventually destroy heaven so it can be heaven for everyone. Hell is not that bad a place depending on your punishments for this life which I think would be finite anyway. And what makes it fair is that even if you died and God asked you where you wanted to go you wouldnt change your mind. So hell cant be that bad. I just don't picture God as that mean.

Of course, I'm ok if heaven and hell are just that split second that your brain shuts down and we don't really exist after that. I'd also be ok with hell since I think God is fair and wouldn't punish me more than I deserve. But I'd still rather serve God in heaven than rule in hell if those were my choices (to the best of our meager understanding of it all). Why it seems like a good offer to me and not someone else, I have no idea. I know what I know is not exactly true but iI think its approximately true and its what makes sense to me right now.


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JustAnotherBeliever

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

 And what makes it fair is that even if you died and God asked you where you wanted to go you wouldnt change your mind. So hell cant be that bad. I just don't picture God as that mean.

 

For the sake of argument, let's say your god gave you the choice to replace someone whom you loved in hell.

Dear Auntie Mae the atheist or whomever is sitting in hell and before entering heaven god says "You can go in or you can take your Aunt's place in hell and she gets to go in. Which choice do you make?

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JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

"The more I hang out here, the less I take the bible literally (which is hard to let go of. ) So, lets say the fall of man was not one act but just mans nature to rebel and be selfish."

 

Uh...Believer...do you realize that this one sentence undoes all of Christianity?  If not, I'm not surprised; I subscribed to just that viewpoint for years before I deconverted.  But let's go through the logic:

 

You wrote: "The fall of man was not one act but just man's nature to rebel and be selfish."

  First, if the "one act" (i.e., Adam's sin,) didn't happen, then there is no original sin.  But original sin is why Jesus allegedly came to die.  So, if you're right...there was no reason for Jesus' death.

 

Second, if Genesis chapter 3 is all about "man's nature to rebel and be selfish," then that means that God created man to be flawed.  Worse, God would then have created man specifically to be doomed.  That is neither perfect in the sense of God acting perfectly (because he made a flawed product,) nor in the moral sense (since this would mean that God was creating people for Hell, as well as--perhaps!--Heaven.  But the Christian God is supposed to be perfect.  It is therefore a priori impossible for this scenario to be the truth.

 

You also wrote:"Hell is not that bad a place depending on your punishments for this life which I think would be finite anyway. And what makes it fair is that even if you died and God asked you where you wanted to go you wouldnt change your mind. So hell cant be that bad. I just don't picture God as that mean."

 

All I can say here is that, with this statement, you have departed from traditional Christianity.  Mind you, I think that that is a good thing.  But I do want you to be aware of what you are saying.  (Many Christians strike me as unaware of the implications of their own thoughts.) In any event, virtually all of traditional Christianity--Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant--would vehemently argue with you that Hell really *is* that bad.  Indeed, some Catholics might go on from there to argue that even Purgatory is unspeakably bad--and that's the punishment  that Catholics believe is *not* eternal.

 

Think about what you write, Believer.  Such thinking will pay you dividends.

 

Conor


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darth_josh

darth_josh wrote:

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

 And what makes it fair is that even if you died and God asked you where you wanted to go you wouldnt change your mind. So hell cant be that bad. I just don't picture God as that mean.

 

For the sake of argument, let's say your god gave you the choice to replace someone whom you loved in hell.

Dear Auntie Mae the atheist or whomever is sitting in hell and before entering heaven god says "You can go in or you can take your Aunt's place in hell and she gets to go in. Which choice do you make?

Paul said he would but its hard to say if it came down to that he really would. Kind of depends on how hell bad is and how much you are saving auntie may from and how much you love auntie may. Ironically, we are taught to be selfish on this point alone and choose God before anyone else but there have been many stories about people wanting to switch. Like Constantine. Thats how keanu makes it into heaven. I also liked that movie what dreams may come. I didnt like it at first but it kind of grows on you. Its a fair question. Isn't that what some think jesus did for 3 days. We are suppose to be like jesus but it wasnt permanent for him either.

But all of this discounts my original belief that auntie may doesnt want to serve God for eternity and thats why shes not in heaven already so she does not want me to trade places with her. I like these prisoners dilemmas but I dont think any of us really understand what heaven and hell are.


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Conor Wilson wrote:"The more

Conor Wilson wrote:

"The more I hang out here, the less I take the bible literally (which is hard to let go of. ) So, lets say the fall of man was not one act but just mans nature to rebel and be selfish."

 

Uh...Believer...do you realize that this one sentence undoes all of Christianity?  If not, I'm not surprised; I subscribed to just that viewpoint for years before I deconverted.  But let's go through the logic:

 

You wrote: "The fall of man was not one act but just man's nature to rebel and be selfish."

  First, if the "one act" (i.e., Adam's sin,) didn't happen, then there is no original sin.  But original sin is why Jesus allegedly came to die.  So, if you're right...there was no reason for Jesus' death.

 

Yes. This is a big problem.

Conor Wilson wrote:

Second, if Genesis chapter 3 is all about "man's nature to rebel and be selfish," then that means that God created man to be flawed.  Worse, God would then have created man specifically to be doomed.  That is neither perfect in the sense of God acting perfectly (because he made a flawed product,) nor in the moral sense (since this would mean that God was creating people for Hell, as well as--perhaps!--Heaven.  But the Christian God is supposed to be perfect.  It is therefore a priori impossible for this scenario to be the truth.

  

We both agree that God is not a thing or person. We dont know what God is. To be eternal he has to be unchanging and cannot influence man but somehow we picture he does by preordaining it all and not interfering. All we can do is personify God as in the old testament even though it is a total approximation. I dont believe that either all the bible is true or none of it is true. That kind of thinking is why people feel the need to deconvert. Yes, people lie to us and tell us they know more about God than they do. But that doesnt mean none of it is true, as in there is no truth to be had from the bible at all. Even if I move toward christian agnosticism someday I can't discount my experiences with God. What I have right now is the closest approximation to the truth that I can understand. It is painful to let go of literal interpretations that we should have never had in the first place but thats not Gods fault. Its our fault.

Conor Wilson wrote:

You also wrote:"Hell is not that bad a place depending on your punishments for this life which I think would be finite anyway. And what makes it fair is that even if you died and God asked you where you wanted to go you wouldnt change your mind. So hell cant be that bad. I just don't picture God as that mean."

 

All I can say here is that, with this statement, you have departed from traditional Christianity.  Mind you, I think that that is a good thing.  But I do want you to be aware of what you are saying.  (Many Christians strike me as unaware of the implications of their own thoughts.) In any event, virtually all of traditional Christianity--Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant--would vehemently argue with you that Hell really *is* that bad.  Indeed, some Catholics might go on from there to argue that even Purgatory is unspeakably bad--and that's the punishment  that Catholics believe is *not* eternal.

 

Think about what you write, Believer.  Such thinking will pay you dividends.

 

Conor

I believe as I said before purgation is that act of stripping us of the part of us that will sin that is not allowed in heaven. We have to change to be prepared for heaven. People who choose hell prefer to not change because it means losing a big part of the self. So purgation could be in an instant and it could be painful as the verses indicate.


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God is either

A being or is not a being, if he is not a being of any sorts then god cannot communicate or have any intelligence. If god is a being then he has a physical presentation as god would have to some how commuicate to man (as he does various times in the OT) and somehow store this intelligence (as far as I can see we have yet to see any form of intelligence without having a physical form). God to be able to create anything has to be a thing, if he isn't a thing or a being then he is nothing.


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latincanuck wrote:A being or

latincanuck wrote:

A being or is not a being, if he is not a being of any sorts then god cannot communicate or have any intelligence.

I agree with this mostly. God is not intelligent. He doesn't make decisions. He doesn't think. He just is the same as he always was. Therefore, in a sense, he cannot interact with mankind.

latincanuck wrote:

If god is a being then he has a physical presentation as god...

 This is where we get hung up. Because in a sense we are both right. God does not exist as in having a physical representation and somehow the concept of God influences people as though he does exist as a person. It doesn't matter what mental model we use to describe this. I like the one I'm using. You like yours better. No God.

latincanuck wrote:

would have to some how commuicate to man (as he does various times in the OT) and somehow store this intelligence (as far as I can see we have yet to see any form of intelligence without having a physical form). God to be able to create anything has to be a thing, if he isn't a thing or a being then he is nothing.

Yes. He cannot create since he is not a thing. But he gives the appearance of creating and being a thing. As we discussed before the best notion of God is the singularity before the universe. It doesnt come into being or do anything. It just is. So we can consider God as a being that programmed the universe to be a certain way. But that is just a model.


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JustAnotherBeliever

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

latincanuck wrote:

A being or is not a being, if he is not a being of any sorts then god cannot communicate or have any intelligence.

I agree with this mostly. God is not intelligent. He doesn't make decisions. He doesn't think. He just is the same as he always was. Therefore, in a sense, he cannot interact with mankind.

latincanuck wrote:

If god is a being then he has a physical presentation as god...

 This is where we get hung up. Because in a sense we are both right. God does not exist as in having a physical representation and somehow the concept of God influences people as though he does exist as a person. It doesn't matter what mental model we use to describe this. I like the one I'm using. You like yours better. No God.

latincanuck wrote:

would have to some how commuicate to man (as he does various times in the OT) and somehow store this intelligence (as far as I can see we have yet to see any form of intelligence without having a physical form). God to be able to create anything has to be a thing, if he isn't a thing or a being then he is nothing.

Yes. He cannot create since he is not a thing. But he gives the appearance of creating and being a thing. As we discussed before the best notion of God is the singularity before the universe. It doesnt come into being or do anything. It just is. So we can consider God as a being that programmed the universe to be a certain way. But that is just a model.

But the singularity is a thing, it was a physical thing, with physical properties. Where your saying god is an idea, not a being, something that has no physical properties outside of an idea. As such it is no more real than say civil liberties, as these are an idea as well that we treat as real, as some people treat god as real, but in reality cannnot do anything, it is mere the idea of god that influences people, not that there actually is a god. As well if god cannot interact nor can god create then, then god has done nothing, did not create man, did not create the universe....so why worship him again? If god cannot make decisions (even though if you read the bible he does make decisions) and cannot interact with man, can communicate with man, cannot show himself in any way or form. Then how does god represent himself many times throughout the bible in physical form?

Your entire concept of god is no more real than an idea, and yes ideas can influence people but they aren't real things per se, and those ideas come from humans and are human creations, which puts god as a human creation then. As an idea cannot exist prior to humans existing.


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latincanuck wrote: But the

latincanuck wrote:

 

But the singularity is a thing, it was a physical thing, with physical properties. Where your saying god is an idea, not a being, something that has no physical properties outside of an idea. As such it is no more real than say civil liberties, as these are an idea as well that we treat as real, as some people treat god as real, but in reality cannnot do anything, it is mere the idea of god that influences people, not that there actually is a god. As well if god cannot interact nor can god create then, then god has done nothing, did not create man, did not create the universe....so why worship him again? If god cannot make decisions (even though if you read the bible he does make decisions) and cannot interact with man, can communicate with man, cannot show himself in any way or form. Then how does god represent himself many times throughout the bible in physical form?

Your entire concept of god is no more real than an idea, and yes ideas can influence people but they aren't real things per se, and those ideas come from humans and are human creations, which puts god as a human creation then. As an idea cannot exist prior to humans existing.

I don't think a singularity is a thing. We talk about it as it is and we picture it like a black hole but it is not really a thing that exists in time or space. Space and time are undefined at the singularity like 1/0 as far as I know.

At some point to become a christian, we have experiences that we think are coming from God. At worst, we are all turning coincidences of our collected experiences into meaning that wasn't there. The next best thing is that we are causing these coincidences due to our collective faith and reinforcing them. If I experience a miracle and you are not around, it would be difficult for you to believe what happened. Each person has to experience miracles for themselves to be convinced that he exists.

How can a person believe his experiences are from God and then be sure later that they weren't and just mere coincidence. Especially, if coincidences happen repeatedly. I don't have to know what God is to think that coincidence is not coincidence. You know like when you have a dream about somebody and then it turns out they died that day. That kind of a thing. Sure, its totally unprovable to another person. But eventually we ascribe meaning to such things. If I did have an experience like the road to damascus, would any other rational person believe it? No.

 


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am I missing something?

You just completely contradicted yourself here, how can god influence anything if god cannot do anything, your previous post said god can't create, can't communicate, doesn't have a physical form, does not have intelligence as such cannot make designs, influencing someone is making a decision, an active decision to influence someone. Now if god is an idea, then god is nothing tangible and nothing worth worshiping, hasn't created anything and is nothing in the end outside of an idea.


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there is no way to explain

there is no way to explain "how"...its a mental model that he does...the only question is are coincidences just that? They are to you and not to me....


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Okay...let's take another look at this...

First, Believer, you *agreed* with my statement about original sin...and yet you disagreed about the outflow of it.  If no Adam, then no original sin; if no original sin, then apparently no Jesus.  You allowed that this was "a big problem."  That's good as far as it goes, but what other theological reason would have Jesus coming to Earth?  Apparently, whatever it is, it has nothing to do with saving us from sin; one would think that this would mean no reason for Jesus to die at all.

 

Second, Latincanuck seems to be dealing with you on the contradictions in your post; I won't repeat and belabor his points, here.  But the bit about people deconverting because of an all-or-nothing approach? Not quite...at least not in my case.  I deconverted because the alleged "perfection" of "God's teaching" was wholly absent.  Worse: if one tried to allow for a reinterpretation which removed the difficulty, then you ended up denying other "religious truths."  Oh...and as a kicker...the church authorities usually ruled out any "reinterpretation" I could imagine, because of course someone else had thought of it first.  Far from being "perfect truth," religious doctrine was simply a logical trap to try to get you to "exercise faith," (read: believe nonsense regardless of how illogical it is, or how much evidence is arrayed against it.)

 

As for whether or not that "means that none of it is true," stop and consider: where, exactly, do we in the modern world get these religious ideas?  Simple: from other people.  For example, I got the idea that, say, the Gospel According to Mark was "God's Word," from my church of the time (i.e., the Roman Catholic Church.)  Okay...but where did the Catholics who taught me this get it?  From other Catholics, of course.  One might trace things back to Ecumenical Councils and from there to local councils, and from there to usages in the Fathers of the Church...but at the end of the day, this idea ("The Gospel of Mark is God's Word.&quotEye-wink is either correct, or not.  So...how good is the word of the Catholic Church concerning the Gospel of Mark?  You see here how important it is for any witnesses to be reliable.  Oh...and atheists don't claim that there is *no* truth at all in the Bible.  In fact, I'll go on record right here, right now as claiming that there is *much* truth in the Bible.  But that is not the claim that is uniquely made for the Bible.  The claim that is made for the Bible is that it is the written teaching of a perfect God who loves humanity and wishes to lead us into all truth.  So...if God is perfect, then he cannot fail to understand how to teach us; if he loves us, then he would not lie to us, and he would see to the preservation of his word to us.  That "truth exists" within the Bible is actually not much of a claim.  That is why the stronger claim of *perfect* (read: inerrant, infallible, or prophetic, as you choose) truth is made.  For example, I can open my Bible (NRSV) to Proverbs 22:3, which reads, "The clever see danger and hide; but the simple go on and suffer for it."  I have no difficulty at all citing this statement (and others like it, in the Bible) as "true."  It is utterly banal, and we do not exactly need a "divine revelation" to know this...but the statement is indeed true.  Here, then, is a *major* problem with the Bible: what is claimed for it by others (inerrancy, infallibility, etc.,) is at best unprovable, when it is not in fact outright disproven.  What it claims for itself (a history of Jesus, for example,) is again either unsupported, or false.  And to top it all off: when it is right...it very often is so in a way which makes it...well...irrelevant.  And this is "God's Word" to humanity.

 

Here's a kicker: these possibilities (unsupportable, false, irrelevant) are the same possibilities for all the other "sacred scriptures," around the world.  Take the Koran, for example.  It informs us that humanity came from "a clot of blood."  There are two ways to take this: as referring to the origin of each human individual, or referring to the origin of the human species as a whole.  And it's a wrong statement, either way.  Plan on keeping your Bible, while adding the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price?  Here's the short version: a prophet is only a prophet when acting as such; the First Presidency of the Latter-Day Saint Church is supposed to be a prophet; a General Convention is when the First Presidency is supposed to be acting as a prophet...and a former President of the Church taught, at a General Convention,  that blacks were inferior, and that such a teaching was to be held as God's Word, contained within LDS scriptures.  Not only is that repulsive in itself, but here's a kicker: virtually nobody within today's LDS Church, that I ever ran across, believes this.  Which by LDS standards, theoretically should mean that the entire church is apostate.  Oops.  I guess that the Latter-Day Saints aren't any better at "preserving God's Word through history" than anybody else is.  (Oh...and as for the "inferior" thing...I do believe that we now have a President-elect that disproves *that* little notion...which shows this racist teaching to be *false* as well as repulsive.)  So...God's Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price are all false.  If I may make an observation: God's not doing so well in the "truth" department, here.

 

Now, I'll make an honest admission.  I did *not* study every single scripture on the planet.  I doubt that such a thing is possible, and even if it were, it would only be good until the next "revelation" comes along.  But really...how much optimisim do *you* have that, say, a thorough study of the Bhagavad-Gita will fare any better?  The Upanishads?  The Book of Urantia?   Scientology The Fundamentals of Thought?  And even if you *did* find truth...remember what kind of "truth" we found in the Bible: banal, and wholly unworthy of the label "divine revelation."

 

Think about it, Believer.

 

Please.

 

Conor


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Quote: Scientology The

Quote:
Scientology The Fundamentals of Thought?

Conor, if you ever find you have the time, I insist you do a fun little excercize:

 

Pick-up a copy of Dianetics, and read through it while imposing a preconception that it was written as an allegorical criticism of the Cold War, with a heavy & unabashed American bias.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940