I’ve noticed I’ve had a bit of a short fuse with religious folk lately – I blame it on the weather, it’s hot as hell this week. Anyway, I thought this was an interesting bit of a conversation between me and someone else, so I’m posting it. I occasionally include previous comments from myself in brackets where additional context is needed, and his comments are in quotes. In the beginning he is talking about the idea that god cursed cain for killing his brother and that when his cursed blood hit the ground it cursed mankind and caused us to be wicked (this is actually the mythical origin of vampires in one of my favorite PC games, Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines) . He characterized jesus’ death as a “vaccine” against it, and I pointed out that vaccines are given before the illness, and that god apparently wasn’t clever enough to do that. And we continue:
“Ok… Vaccination was a bad word… how about “medicine”? Better?”
But if (as you say) it didn’t cure the illness, how is it medicine? And how is torturing someone to death supposed to make us better? And what god would demand that his son be executed so he could forgive us? And forgive us for what, existing? Isn’t that his doing, not ours?
“There is life in blood.”
No, there isn’t. That is like saying a car’s life is in the oil. The oil is one of many components that allow the whole to function – blood is associated with life simply because it is the easiest component to accidentally deplete. Taking the salt out of someone’s body or the iron out of their blood or the electrolytes or a million other things would cause instantaneous death just as surely as draining the blood, it’s just logistically harder to do. Blood pressure is a weak point in human anatomy, it is not “the” source of life. Just like the heart beat, we romantically associate it with life and death but only because it was the earliest means of telling whether someone is alive or dead. And we think if your heart stops and is re-started that you’ve “died”, when in reality you’ve done no such thing.
“By faith, we take that blood is sacred. When this sacred blood hit the ground that God cursed, our blood was cursed.”
God cursed eve, if blood is sacred why didn’t this happen when she had her first period?
“Again, God was the one that cursed the ground. He has the kind of power to do that in a supernatural kind of way. We don’t. I don’t think people can supernaturally curse anything. So in a purely physical manner of speaking, no. I don’t believe in curses. When the curse is from our God and creator though, yes. However, you fail to realize that I’ve said that this whole thing is a theory. I never said I agreed with”
That’s like saying you don’t believe in magic unless it comes from a wizard. The concept of curses came from primitive societies where they didn’t understand things like weather, illness and psychology and were trying to work out cause and effect patterns for these things without sufficient understanding to reach better conclusions. If someone broke your heart they “cursed” you, that is the origin of the notion of “curse” words. If you got sick or had a seizure you were possessed by a demon, if it rained too much and flooded or rained too little and the crops died god was punishing you for your sins. We have better explanations than these now for why the world works the way it does, and a series of simple constants (strong and weak nuclear forces, gravity etc) govern every complex wonder in our world, from weather patterns to biology. The weather is shitty this week for the same reason steel is hard and glass is cold and the sun shines. It’s all tied together. That’s just the kind of universe we live in. If there are “curses” anywhere in this, they are very good at hiding.
[“Lots of religions have a hell, how is picking one at random “playing it safe”?”]
“That would be a good question if I did indeed pick a religion at random. But I didn’t.”
No, your culture did that for you. My point was that bias is effectively the same as picking one at random and that muslims are muslim for the same random reasons christians are christians – but whatever.
“Besides, I am talking in the area of Christianity. Taking this outside of the context of the conversation is an insult to the point.”
How is it an insult to ask a question? You were saying why you believe in christianity if I recall, so you are basically saying it’s an insult to ask why you should believe in christianity without making the assumption that it’s the correct religion, that is circular reasoning.
[You have an inflated view of the probability of christianity being true, because you live in a predominantly christian culture and were exposed to it growing up.]
“You are right. I do. I’m a lucky one. I believe this is what God intended for me.”
Are you that dense or are you just refusing to take two steps back and look at what I’m saying? YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR RELIGION FOR THE SAME (BAD) REASONS PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS DO. If you had been born in another country you would believe in another religion. That you are christian is completely random, and if you think god rewards or punishes people based on random things they do not choose for themselves, he is a monster.
[If you were raised in palestine you’d be muslim just to “play it safe”, and if you were raised 2,000 years ago in a place that worshipped zeus you would worship him for protection. There’s no sense to it. If you were raised in palestine you’d be muslim just to “play it safe”, and if you were raised 2,000 years ago in a place that worshiped zeus you would worship him for protection. There’s no sense to it.]
“Again, my “play it safe” comment is in regards to the Christian idea of hell- in the bounds of Christianity. By taking it outside of Christianity, you are insulting the point. I also know of people who were raised in Palestine and now they are Christians. Whose to say if that would or wouldn’t happen to me if I grew up in Palestine?”
It is possible, but statistically unlikely. And I don’t see how thinking outside of the box of christianity is an “insult”.
“There is plenty of sense to it. Unfortunately, when it comes to God, you have to think beyond what is physical. I understand that some people find that difficult.”
No, it is impossible. Thinking beyond what is observable or verifiable is just a license to make shit up. It is a waste of time if your goal is to pursue truth, and a boon if your goal is to shut your eyes and make pretend.