Some Things To Ponder
I've been doing some fairly extensive reading of your letters archive and your discussion forums. Out of all that I've read, I still think you support yourself well, but I think that I might have some comments here that you might be able to use as a rebuttal or may find some use for. I think that they may be as helpful as just summarizing some of what you have already said, or maybe give you something new to work with.
1) If one accepts all of a religious dogma as true, the religion itself is thus rendered true. If one questions just one of the points of a religion, the religion begins to be falsified. (Walter Kaufman. The Critique of Religion and Philosophy.)
2) Religions arise, and, change themselves out of a crises of legitimacy. (My sophomore-year history course). The Catholic Reformation brought by Martin Luther is an example of this.
3) A common argument about the Bible is that it's not to be read literally, it's open to interpretation. True, some passages are open to interpretation. But that's just some, not all. For the ones that are not, how else can you interpret them other than literally?
4) a: Several people say that God is perfect. If so, how could His word be open to interpretation - I would think He'd have a very precise way for us to follow his word,
b: How could a perfect God leave so much room in the world for people to follow different gods (such as Hinduism) or find need to revise His own word (such as Protestantism)?
5) If God is omnibenevolent and will forgive you of all of your sins, why fear hell? For that matter, what need is there for hell if you're guaranteed to be forgiven by God and accepted to heaven anyway?
6) If you know God is going to forgive you of your sins, why bother asking his forgiveness in church or in private prayer?
7) Is hell really full of fire and brimstone and souls in absolute agony? Or is hell simply a state of supreme alienation from God -- basically an emptiness of some kind?
8) a: Supposedly, God loves you and only you. If so, how could He put you in so much misery by taking someone close from you?
b: If God is so great and loves only you, I find it rather discouraging to know that the rest of mankind -- His creation -- is not loved by Him.
c: Isn't it also a rather rude experience to be confronted by someone saying, "I'm extra-special because God loves me and no one else?"
9) Supposedly, you love God and no one else. If this is true, why do we mourn the loss of someone close or feel any sympathy for other people?
10) Does organized religion really seek truth? Or blatantly proclaim itself to be truth?
Maybe you can find errors with these that I can't. For the sources I haven't cited, it means I've thought them out on my own. If you have some questions, write me back and I'll do what I can to answer them.
Thanks again for your time!
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