Monday, May 30, 2011

Atheist complaints: Random beliefs

{A while back, I asked Matt, friend of this blog, artist, atheist, and a few other things, to generate a list of what he found to be problematic with religion. He gave me a few.

I promised him I would use it. And I keep my promises

This is the last week I'm doing what my friend Jason calls "high-intellectual" blog posts. They are time consuming, draining, a lot of work, and I'm not sure they are at all entertaining. They've garnered some response, much of it hate mail.

My replies are long-winded, so this may take a few posts.

If you find yourself here by accident, or have no interest in the topic, I invite you to look around. Our most popular blogs are in the sidebar, as are the short stories, what this book is about, and we have entries on why anyone can enjoy this book, any politics involved, spytech, and even a section for fans of Sherlock Holmes and science fiction. If we don't have something you like ... wait five minutes. :)

Anyway, onto the complaint ....]

-The randomization of beliefs (i.e. stone gays to death, but adultery no longer means execution)

How very dogmatic. I don't know if this is an argument for one world religion (in which case, come to Rome,) or how everything is so darned regional / pastoral.

With the examples given, no one stones gays to death anymore, unless the rock throwers are in the back end of nowhere, and even in those cases …. Does anyone remember the last, most famous example? I believe it was Texas, in the late 1990s? Two idiots tied a young gay male to a tree and threw rocks at him. No one remembers that the motives in that case were not religious: it involved two psychos who were on a week-long, meth-fueled rampage, who capped their week off with a murder.

And stoning had ceased to be an issue in the Christian faith five seconds after the line “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

It's not really random within a religion … well, not Judaism, not Catholicism, but let's not discuss Protestant groups here. They're so wide spread over the sanity spectrum that there is no net wide enough to encompass all of them. This is mostly a matter of application. The basic rules – and rules seem to be the primary focus of the statement – are the ten commandments. Most of everything else has been how to apply penalties for violations. Notice that the primary believes are the ten commandments, then a whole bunch of rules popped up in later books because they tried to codify their entire entire life around two stone tablets.

Within Catholicism / Christianity, Jesus very clearly outlaws stoning. He also speaks out against screaming at other people's sins, since everybody is a sinner, and don't you dare get righteous with me … But no one ever told that to the Phelps family..... Look for the "Literal Interpretation of Doctrine" blog, posted earlier today.

My "Doctrine" blog has a longer and possibly a better explanation of what I'm saying here. It's two blogs back.

Take out religion … are things really going to become less random? Let's go back to Atheist Jews a moment. It's still cultural, God or no God.

Cultures will vary wildly all over the place … unless, of course, you want to make one, monolithic world culture. In which case, good luck to you.

I hope this was coherent. I've done so many of these, it feels like my eyes are starting to bleed....

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