Fat SAM wrote:I think Dana's negative impression of Christianity has been largely based on interaction with the Christians she has likely come into contact with who are largely undereducated and have likely spent little time actually reading the Bible (most churches I've attended rarely encourage reading the Bible as a book and rather dole it out in abstracted, out of context chunks). She seems to be railing against the actions of the people she has interacted with (either historically or currently) and not to the core beliefs themselves (which sadly seem to go largely unpracticed). Ghandi was once asked what he thought of Christians and replied, "I don't know. I've never met one." Touche. With Dana, I agree that science and spirituality are not at all mutually exclusive. I think they can coexist in a belief system in perfect tandem. I also agree with her that the average Christian probably does not believe that the Earth is only 7000 years old. It's impossible to justify and is held usually by only the most literal interpreters of the Bible and even then, I think it might just be obstinance.
About your assumptions:
First I'm a manly man with a girlie name.
No many of the people were quite intelligent (not necessarily wise) including pastors and preachers. One of the worst was a med student who was the type that quotes exact scripture including numbers. We were having a discussion in which I was voicing pretty much what you and itwazed are saying, about having to sort through to find the truth, interpret, etc. He fired back with an exact bible quote saying something like interpretation is an opening to the devil or some such shit.
And just to top it off when I was in between jotting down some of these very ideas, I encountered a pastor who told me if I didn't believe in Christ I would spend an eternity in hell. I replied that if he really believed that, his god was an idiot. I have to assume this pastor has spent at least a little time reading the bible.
And as far as the 7,000 year thing I've heard that shit on the radio twice, so I know its being propagated.
Its peculiar that you would make those assumptions, all of which are wrong. But that's what we do. I see faith or dogma in that same sense. We take assumptions and codify them, repeat them and spread them until they become scripture, faith and dogma.
Oppose that to belief which immediately shows you its validity. For example itwazed holds a belief in what we might call "the true face of jesus". (For me I might call that the "true face of humanity".) Its not faith because its something that itwazed can experience directly. Someone else might want to believe humanity in its essence is debased, selfish and dangerous. All will tend to experience their own divergent possibility which strengthens their belief. Far from "concrete", reality encompasses those shifting and divergent possibilities.
I thought to go into more detail about faith and belief but I'm losing motivation here. Bottom line for me personally, I reject christianity and religion because it doesn't provide me even slightly adequate tools to further my spirituality. Not enough detail. The bible tells me almost nothing useful about how consciousness works, the function of the unconscious, subconscious, what ego is, why I'm here, where I can go from where I am, a believable sense of my relation to the divine, how to function in altered states, etc. etc.