It would seem my previous post (and a few comments on Silence of Mind’s post) struck a nerve. SoM displayed what could only be described as petulance from the start, and if his ‘arguments’ are intended, in any way shape or form, to persuade a non-believer to convert to his form of Christianity, they are more likely to have the opposite effect!
He avoided the questions I put to him, which I’ll put down to a lack of faith in his faith (heh). Here’s the question he has refused to address:
OK then, which version of Christianity? Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Protestant? Which version should take precedence over the others, as a basis for morality?
Then there’s the question I posed on my own site, that you apparently did not notice, or decided to avoid, through all of this, a question needs asking – why the Christian version of God? How can SoM be certain that God is not better represented through Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, or for that matter, the pantheons of the Norse, Greek, and Roman gods? SoM is so convinced, not only of the benevolence of the Christian God, but of their existence, but Biblical history has no more been proven than any other religion. It’s entirely possible that the truth is something no one has considered.
Here’s a typical SoM response:
Ben, you are typical of atheists: you ask a Christian a stupid question then beat the Christian over the head with Christian morality.
The rest of your comment is rude and judgmental, again, typical of atheists.
I will be glad to have a conversation. But first, get a brain of your own, then teach it some Christian manners.
Quite rude, no? Alas, it seems the more ‘pious’ someone is, the nastier, and yet more cowardly, they become. SoM’s (non) answer to the question of ‘which version of God’ is typical of devout theists I’ve encountered. Every sparring partner I’ve ever engaged with will insist their way is the only true way, as proven by their interpretation of holy texts. Of course, they can’t all be right, and none of them are prepared to consider the evidence that might render them all wrong (particularly in respect of things like ‘intelligent’ design, young earth creationism, etc). SoM will no doubt insist that the Quran is a heretical book, yet a Muslim will consider the Bible to be corrupted. So which is it?
SoM argues that atheists lack morality, unless they adopt elements of Christian values. What values would they be? The values displayed by a wrathful and violent God in the Old Testament? The cold, cruel-hearted policies that modern-day Christian fundies espouse (such as restricting women’s rights, open racism, and unchecked homophobia)?
The best Christians I have encountered are the ones who have moved away from an ultra-rigid, literal interpretation of the Bible. The community that welcomed my wife and I, when we were organising our wedding, was kind and warm. SoM, and the other fanatical fundies I’ve encountered, are anything but kind, and clearly need to read the Bible again, for they have missed several verses…
Ephesians 4:32 ESV: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Ephesians 4:29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Colossians 3:12: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.