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A "loving Christian" writes, "If I believe in Jesus, and I'm wrong, that makes me a fool, though a well-meaning one. But if I'm right, that makes you more than a fool."
I reply, "You're a hypocrite, just like Jesus, when you call me a fool. Out of one side of his mouth, Jesus said that to call someone a fool puts you in danger of Hell's fire. A short while later, he did precisely what you've done to me: he called people 'fools' simply for disagreeing with him.
"Why should I take a guy like that seriously? especially after calling himself God? How can I bring myself to believe writings that appear, in every respect, to be ancient myths told by illiterate goat-herders around a campfire of camel dung?"
This "well-meaning one" lays down the whys and wherefores of the flaming pits of Hell, then tells me, "All He wants is for you to love Him. Now I ask you, why is that so hard?"
My first thoughts: "Waah! I want people to love me! It's no fair! Bawl! And if I don't have my way, you're all gonna fry!"
I calm down: "Actually, loving a fictional character would be no easier than taking a flight on Santa's sleigh. Respecting someone who thinks and acts like the 'Him' you've described -- an Oriental despot, only bigger, and invisible* -- would be harder than respecting, for example, Caligula or Idi Amin or Pope Innocent III or Adolph Hitler or John Wayne Gacy."
My Christian opponent charges, "You have created your own impasse in relation to Jesus."
I respond, "I do not create this impasse, truth does. I have yet to be told reasons for believing in Jesus that pass even the most basic tests of truthfulness. I cannot believe in Jesus any more than I can believe in the Easter Bunny. The evidence simply points the other way. No amount of emotional jumping up and down will override the pronounced lack of substance in these and other falsehoods that I hear every day."
I summarize, "Remember, it's not only the Christian gods that I lack a belief in, I also take flack from Hindus, Muslims, Mormons, Twelve Steppers, Discordians, Sufis, New-Agers, and devotees of over 4,000 other gods."
Footnote: *Line lifted from an old Robert Anton Wilson book
Based on the dialogue, To All You Intellectually Dishonest 'Thinkers'
Mentioned in These Are Not Paths To Truth by Cliff Walker
Copyright ©1997 Cliff Walker; Portland, Oregon