Monday, March 23, 2009

Generalizing Atheists

Interesting letter: Belief has promoted good

Just a couple quick thoughts:

You can't generalize atheists any more than you can generalize the five billion non-Hindus. Or the nearly six billion non-Shintos. Or the few billion non-Christians.

And claiming that a particular religion is somehow "good" or has accomplished good things doesn't make that particular religion true. The Romans accomplished a lot of good (as well as bad) and they worshipped gods that nearly everybody today agrees don't exist. But to say that people who don't believe in those religions have accomplished nothing is an absurd statement. Sphere: Related Content

These people know if Satan exists

As many of you know, I don't believe that Satan exists. If you read my book, I spend a good deal of time talking about the issues of both Satan and Hell and why I came to the conclusion they're not real.

But this is bizarre: ABC's Nightline (which has gotten very strange in the past few years, quite frankly) is bringing on board four "experts" to debate whether Satan is real. Here are the people involved.

In one corner, arguing that Satan is not real:

  • Deepak Chopra, famous spiritualist who, interestingly, wrote a rebuttal article against Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. We don't really know what religion Chopra belongs to, but from what I've read he's both critcized and defended Christianity.
  • Carlton Pearson is a Christian preacher who believes God exists and is loving, but wouldn't condemn people to Hell; he doesn't believe Satan or Hell exist. (Kind of a strange do-it-yourself Christianity if you ask me.)

Then in the other corner, arguing Satan is real:

  • Mark Driscoll: A somewhat controversial preacher who, I might add, does have a Master's of theology.
  • Annie Lobert: The woman who started Hookers for Jesus. Why she should be considered an expert, I have no idea.

My take: Satan isn't real because Christianity and the Bible are based in myths. Jesus isn't real; God isn't real; the Holy Spirit isn't real; and as such neither is Satan or Hell. However, if you suspend belief momentarily and treat the Bible as real (bear with me here), you still find little or no evidence that Satan is real. In my own book, I point out that Satan and Hell actually occupy just a tinyl, miniscule portion of the Bible, and the references aren't at all clear. Anything beyond that is an invention of the person reading the Bible. So maybe the Carlton Pearson isn't the one with the do-it-yourself Christianity after all. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Satan made her do it!

It's amazing the way people will rationalize things. In this news article, a woman was charged with theft from a church. Over the course of three years, she stole over $70,000. She sounds pretty sad and remorseful, but I think it's also sad that she's ultimately blaming it on some supposed external force, Satan, as if it's his fault and not hers.

Here's the news article.

Curious to the former Christians reading this: When you did things you knew were wrong, did you ever rationalize them and blame it on Satan? Sphere: Related Content