Saturday, July 26, 2008

Go to Hell?

Bishop John Shelby Spong:

Religion is always in the control business. That's something people don't really understand, it's in the guilt producing control business.

The church doesn't like for people to grow up because you can't control grown-ups.

People don't need to be born again, they need to grow up.

Every church I know claims that we are the true church...the idea that the truth of god can be bound in any human almost beyond imagination.

God is not a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim or a Buddhist. All of those are human systems, which human beings have created.

This is almost an idea I could subscribe to. You know, if it weren't for the lack of evidence of a god's existence and all that stuff.

Thanks to Atheist Media

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DB said...

This is almost an idea I could subscribe to. You know, if it weren't for the lack of evidence of a god's existence and all that stuff.

Totally agreed, including the evidence part. I have always struggled with why ones view of god or a creator is never good enough or correct. Who is the authority and why? What should one believe and on whose vies is correct? The ones who claim to know the answer to those are the ones who seem to be the most radical.

The Amiable Atheist said...

I agree. I always hear religious people say "we cannot know the mind of God" when they are without an explanation for something. But then they constantly do just that.

They always call atheists arrogant for claiming absolute knowledge, but aren't they doing the same thing?

Paul said...

Interesting post. I definitely qualify as a Jack Spong fan.

Anyway, suppose there's a supernatural "being" of some sort. Isn't it logical that its nature and its ways are forever beyond any human definitions? I'm human, and everything I can ever define is only by my human experience. So, if there is some kind of "being" out there somewhere, beyond my humanity, what hope do I have of being able to understand that or explain that or define it or somehow capture it in definition? I have no hope.

Anyway, I've always found atheists and theists similar in some ways. They both claim something that they can't logically claim. That's why I'm an agnostic. The only reasonable position. In my opinion of course! (c: I should qualify that a little - I think it's quite easy to argue the "traditional" Christian god is nonsense (and Jack does that beautifully) - but to then say definitively "there is no god whatsoever" is quite a stretch. imo.

The Amiable Atheist said...

Yeah I see what you're saying.

But if I can say definitely that there is no Santa Claus, fairies, or unicorns, then why can't I say there is no god?

I don't think I'm claiming absolute knowledge by being an atheist. Nobody can claim absolute knowledge (also in the case of the existence of fairies). But the lack of evidence is overwhelming enough for me to believe that none exist. Whether there is a higher power like you described? I could never say absolutely. But I can say with conviction that the gods created by us humans do not exist.