Fundamentalist Christians tend to say either you are a Christian or you are not a Christian. That may be true for the irrational tribal identity of their churches, but it does not make sense in terms of philosophy and theology. If you read the Bible as deliberate metaphor, as symbolic allegory, not as literal history, then it is possible to retain the ethical value of the texts while accepting none of the surface claims. The value of the Bible is enhanced by assuming the original authors did not intend that any of their supernatural poetry should be read as literal fact.
One of the benefits of logic is the ability to test whether a particular proposition is true or not. It often follows the progession: A=B, B=C, C does not equal D; therefore, the proposition that A=D is not likely to be true. With this in mind, let's look at a particular proposition and follow the progression to its logical conclusion.
If logic is the absolute standard for reasoning , then everyone should either agree with the conclusion, or, if disagreeing, be able to point out a flaw in the logic. Let's begin:
PROPOSITION: god is both all-loving and all-powerful.
OBSERVATION: Evil exists
A. If god is both able and willing to prevent evil, then evil would not exist.
B. If god is neither able nor willing to prevent evil, then god is neither all-loving nor all-powerful.
1. If god is able to prevent evil, but not willing to, then god is not all-loving.
2. If god is willing to prevent evil, but not able to, then god is not all-powerful.
CONCLUSION: The proposition that god is both all-loving and all-powerful is not true.
DISCUSSION: It is possible that god is all-loving but not all-powerful. It is possible that god is all-powerful but not all-loving. It is possible that god is neither all-loving nor all-powerful, which raises the question: why worship god?
But it is not possible for god to be both all-loving and all-powerful.
My ex christian beliefs are as follows in 10 simple points, each of which has been the focus of one debate / discussion or another around here:
1 ) I believe that all religions are man made social constructs geared towards politicizing ancient mythology and folklore.
2 ) I believe that no one really knows with certainty the answer to the question of origins or destination.
3 ) I believe that the bible is demonstrably false from the outset as a guide to the truth of the universe or the human condition.
4 ) I believe that anything basing itself on the assumption that the bible is true is automatically false, as the bible is demonstrably false.
5 ) I believe that morality is an evolved concept which continues to evolve and has never been static or handed down from on high.
6 ) I believe that the morality of the biblical writings is long since outdated and mostly irrelevant to modern society.
7 ) I believe that modern scholarship has revealed the truth about the biblical writings and the evolving theistic concepts contained therein.
8 ) I believe that it's both intellectually honest and well intended to expose what truths can be demonstrated about the bible and christianity, through counter apologetics.
9 ) I believe that as painful as it may be at times, it's ultimately for the greater good that christianity and similar religions are losing membership and declining into the future under the weight of their own growing lack of relevance.
10 ) I believe that humanity doesn't need the fluff and circus show of religion in order for people to do what's right, be decent, and get along.
What do you believe????
Is there sufficient evidence to conclude that complex life evolved on its own? Is an alternative explanation offered by LDS belief reasonable?Is there sufficient evidence to believe complex life could have evolved on its own from non-life without some intelligent creative force? Is it at all plausible that some intelligent being, perhaps from another universe, could have been the creator of the complex life on our planet (and any other planet in this universe that may have complex life) using evolution as a tool?