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'The only thing we cannot tolerate is intolerance itself. '
I think he was right. Being open-minded & tolerant does not mean one has to be completely passive and allow the proponents of bigotry & prejudice to peddle their poison unchallenged.
That is a rather disturbing image you posted. It certainly makes the point but could you provide some background history on the image itself... ?
Climate change models predict that the overall warming of the mean temperature of our planet will create more severe and labile weather conditions. If the Gulf stream were to be slowed or even stopped by this trend, ( as some models have suggested) Europe will go into the deep freeze. That will be real ironic too.
I am an ex-Christian. I am also a Physician (Anesthesiologist) in full-time practice In Canada.
I support the right of women to choose to terminate their pregnancies. Many of the women I have encountered in this situation are traumatized by the difficulties of their decision and don't need to be attacked further by their community. I deplore the rhetoric of violence and the real violence against women in the protest strategies and activities of the in the anti-abortion movement. Roeder's act was murder in the first degree and should not be condoned in any way.
But - there is another elephant in the room.
What I do not see is a proper debate or discussion in the non-theist community grappling with the moral difficulties of the late term or partial birth abortions of otherwise viable fetuses. How can it make sense to resuscitate 26 week prematurely born fetus and yet across the street or in another part of the hospital be deliberately destroying an otherwise healthy and potentially viable 35 week fetus? This makes no sense to me.
I think that it behooves us to grapple more honestly with these issues and admit that the line between infanticide and abortion is difficult to draw. Obviously this debate demands some appreciation for the shades of gray and nuances of the situation and when the opponents are only willing to think or speak in B&W we will not get very far; but, when the dust settles, we need to have this discussion.
This whole ID / Creationist phenomenon is morally & intellectually bankrupt.
You said: Most serious religions are based on events/prophecies that ppl claim happened with a dash of history, such as the rising of Christ. I mean, have u asked urself this: Why, oh why, oh why was there such a huuuuuuge commotion when Jesus was being killed? I mean, forget the whole rising thing... noone would paid attention to his rising if he was just simply a regular person, or even a charismatic speaker. The things that happened back then.. makes u wonder, hmm.. it must've been a major commotion for some reason.
I take it that you are describing this Jesus Christ of the New Testament as a well supported historical character. I agree with you that he should be historical. One would certainly expect that a wonder-working charismatic healer & preacher would have attracted a lot of interest & attention; - essentially the "Huuuuuge Commotion"you describe. The Gospels claim that Jesus was famous in the area & attracted huge crowds jostling to hear him & get him to attend to their ills. His very public trial & death along with the remarkable events surrounding his execution from Pilate's extraordinary declaration that he was the "King of the Jews" to the earthquakes, darkening of the earth & the dead erupting from their tombs to walk the streets of Jerusalem. All this would have been the talk of the town for generations....
So apart from those undated, anonymous evangelistic tracts we now call the Gospels, what other historical data do we have for this Amazing character? There were a number of contemporaneous historians writing around this time. (Philo of Alexandria, Josephus & others) They recorded many details & events from the trivial everyday variety to those more important political standoffs between Pilate & the priests. One would expect them to have documented quite a bit of this Jesus' deeds & words as he surely could not have escaped their notice.
And yet, not one of these historians mentions this Jesus let alone devote the attention he surely warranted. (the Testimonium Flavium in Josephus's writings is a 4th century interpolation with Eusebius' fingerprints all over it).
There never was a "major commotion" as you describe it. By all accounts there was no minor commotion either. There are no indications that anything remotely resembling the Jesus Christ story happened in Palestine in the time of Pontius Pilate's jurisdiction.
The most likely explanation for this would be that the Jesus of the NT gospels is either a complete fiction or a complete nobody who was not anything like his Gospel persona. In any case the Christian version of events is a fabrication & not worthy of our acceptance.
Christianity rest or falls on its historical claims. The history is simply not there; therefore, Christianity is a false belief system.
For a more complete argument of this see:
<a href="http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/camel1.html" target="_blank">http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/camel1.html
Good luck in your search for truth.
I have to admit that when I really began examining the merits of my Christian beliefs my standards were not so high that I was ruling out the possibility of god being cruel etc. I was prepared to accept the idea that god would not be someone or something I liked as I was more interested in whether this Christian idea of god had any validity or truth. This question of truth is ultimately the only important issue with which we need to concern ourselves. It may be that the "truth" as much as we can know it may not conform to our hopes or expectations. Maybe the god of the Christian Bible is the "One True God" but what evidence do we have for this assertion?
What data do we have to answer the question of whether there is in fact a personal creator god? Is the Bible a good source of information on this question?
I would suggest you read a few more critical books on this question. Suffice it to say that this is a huge topic, but one can very easily show that in matters of history, science & assertions that are falsifiable, the Bible has a very poor record of reliability. (See The Bible Unearthed by FInkelstein et al if you think that the OT is a good source of historical information.) This would suggest that on matters related to things more immaterial (spiritual) & untestable, its reliability should also be very questionable. There is no evidence that a real deity had any influence over the authorship of this ragtag literary collection but there is plenty of evidence that these books were deliberately crafted to influence political and religious thought.
I would suggest that a close examination of the data would lead most open-minded inquirers to conclude that the fantastic claims made for the god of the bible & his historically elusive son, Jesus Christ are nothing more than fabricated fables.
So...you are right in suggesting that the Christian god might be a real entity & still be Cruel & Judgmental. The evidence for this assertion though is simply not there. The evidence is very much more in favor of Christianity's god being a man-made construct; just like the gods of Egypt, Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam,Scientology, Mormonism....etc.
The Bible simply collapses under critical scrutiny.
Wouldn't you rather pursue the truth than conform to someone else's idea of what you should believe?