вторник, 16 юли 2019 г.

Bible Arguments 12

By DeYtH Banger


"Our God is good, because he told us he is good. New Yorkers are evil because they are offending his holiness and corrupting our tribe. If you judge our Lenape Lord to be evil, then you are committing blasphemy."

- Dan Baker

"If we can’t judge God to be bad, then neither can we judge him to be good. To worship God is to judge God. If what look like “bad” actions of God might actually be good, then what look like “good” actions of God might actually be bad, and we are helpless to know the difference. When he tells us he is good, he might be lying, and if believers think he is not, they are judging him. If they can judge God, why can’t I? They say he is good by his decree. I say he is bad by his actions."

- Dan Baker

"The bible preaches a pessimistic view of human nature. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”28 There’s that intimidating word “glory.” Notice that biblical wrongdoing is connected not with real human suffering but with offending the deity. We are all bad: “All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”29 We all deserve to die: “The wages of sin is death.”30 Notice here that death is not viewed as a natural event but as a punishment for the crime of not glorifying the deity. “As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.”31 Without Jesus, we are all doomed."

- Dan Baker

"…the original sin transmitted to us through Adam. (I never thought of this when I was a preacher, but if “sin” is inherited, is it genetic?)
A humanistic view of human nature is neither negative nor positive. It is realistic and optimistic. We recognize that we all fall somewhere across a spectrum of characteristics and tendencies that are a mix of violence and empathy. Some will lean more toward “saint” and others toward “sinner,” but except for a few people at the far end of the curve who are truly mentally unhealthy, most of us are neither wholly “bad” nor wholly “good” by nature..."

- Dan Baker

"Unlike most believers, most humanists are optimistic about human nature. It’s not that we think we are perfect, or even perfectible, but that we can improve. Many individual genetic predispositions cannot be changed, or cannot be changed easily, but this does not mean that an individual cannot control his or her own actions in spite of those tendencies. This is where education, societal expectation, and humanistic law become useful."

- Dan Baker

"They are unusual. They are shocking. Most of us, fortunately, are somewhere in the middle of the bell curve and live our lives outside of the headlines. Think of a horrible story you have read in the newspaper or seen on television. When a mother does something unthinkable to her children or a husband brutalizes his wife, what do you think? When a criminal commits a heinous act, what do you
say? If you are like me, you say, “What an inhuman thing to do!” We assume that those violent acts reported in the headlines do not reflect basic human nature. We know we are normally kind, empathetic, altruistic, loving, and moral, and that is what makes headlines grab our attention. It is good that most people don’t make it to those headlines. It is only the extreme deviations from the norm that catch our attention, and they shock us because they are not representative of who we really are."

- Dan Baker

"If you are a believer, is that how you picture yourself? Are you desperately trying to restrain your malicious impulses? If you could get away with it, would you run around like a maniac, looting, destroying property, sexually assaulting, and causing bodily harm? Don’t you simply know that such behavior is a threat to survival? Most human beings who want a good life prefer less violence, less harm. Studies show that societies with less religion are better off,…"

- Dan Baker

"We can choose to be moral. Instead of making morality a huge mystery, searching for an “absolute standard” or list of rules or external ethical imperative or purpose-driven motivation or other excuse to treat people nicely, why not simply choose to be reasonable, moral, and kind to others? Paraphrasing my Mom: “If you want to be a good person, then be a good person."

- Dan Baker

"Think about sexuality. The bible says that “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). It is assumed that Adam and Eve were heterosexual, because they were commanded to “replenish the earth.” Jesus made the same assumption: “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (This is also sexist, from the male point of view.) In the bible, anything outside of binary heterosexuality is condemned as an abomination. (See Leviticus 20:13, for example."

- Dan Baker


"Any identity that does not flip to one side of their toggle switch does not exist. This is a cultural color blindness resulting from religion, a failure to see the shades of reality we are looking at. Forcing homosexuals to live as heterosexuals is like me pretending that my garish red outfit was attractive. It is fitting that the gay community uses a rainbow as a symbol."

- Dan Baker

"Think about evolution. The bible says, “God made the beasts of the earth after their kind,” and creationists interpret this to mean each species was formed independently. All of life is flat, started at the same moment, existing side-by-side, nothing related. How boring! When you can learn to see the beauty of evolution, the interconnectedness of all living things springing from the same ancestor, it opens up a whole four-dimensional spectrum. We can see ourselves in stereo, in context, as cousins to the other apes, as more distant relatives to every other species on the planet."

- Dan Baker

"Richard Dawkins, in The Extended Phenotype, talks about this shift in perspective as we look at the natural world. He compares it to staring at a drawing of a Necker Cube, where your mind sees a box in one orientation and then surprisingly shifts to the other orientation. Nothing actually changes on the paper—it all happens in your mind—but it feels like something has changed. Two people can be looking at the same facts but “seeing” something entirely different. Fundamentalist creationists perceive a two-dimensional drawing with little depth or meaning, while evolutionary biologists see a three-
dimensional image, actually four-dimensional when you consider time."

- Dan Baker


"A human being, like the human race, appears on the stage as a full person, they imagine. Adam was formed as a grown man, not a boy, child, baby, or fetus. To the true believer, there is no such thing as a half-developed person, just like there can be no half-soul. It is black or white, absolute, colorless. While the gestating human actually moves through a spectrum of developmental stages—in many of which the human is indistinguishable from other mammals—the religious anti-abortionists view the whole scenario not as a process but as an instantly completed creation, all involving a fully human person. The sperm contacts the egg and Presto, “You” are created. A zygote, blastocyst, embryo, or fetus is the same as a breathing baby in their polarized brains."

- Dan Baker

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