Wednesday, February 08, 2006

on Beliefs

Phil put a post about things he doesn't believe on his craziness blog. Here is the list. Remember these are things he does NOT believe. Text like this are my comments.

  • in Space Aliens --- I am open to the possibility of extraterrestrial life, if he means alien abductions, or any other kind of visitation, then I agree

  • that the moon landings were staged (so I do believe that we actually went to the moon) --- I agree, check out Bad Astronomy for a thorough refutation of the Moon Landing Hoax

  • that the Holocaust never happened (It most certainly did) --- again I agree, read Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World or Michael Shermer's Why People Believe Strange Things

  • that drugs are harmless (I don't like any form of chemical body/mind manipulation including most pharmaceuticals) --- I agree, drugs are not harmless, but 'no drugs' is at least as harmful

  • that violence, pornography, and vulgarity on tv, in movies, and in music is harmless (it has a major impact on behavior - and I don't just mean for kids - it affects all people) --- I only sort of agree, I think these things are symptoms, not causes

  • that promiscuity can be safe and harmless --- see my previous response

  • that abortion is different than murder --- sorry, I have to disagree on this one

  • that everything is all well and good with the world --- I agree, but I don't think it's really that much worse than it ever was, there are just more people and much better media coverage

  • that technology makes our world a safer/cleaner/better place --- Wow, I really disagree here

  • that people are basically good (perhaps more on this later) --- I agree

  • that Satan is not real --- I disagree, I think people created the idea of Satan to shift blame off of themselves. If they did it on their own, they're evil; if Satan made them do it, they only had a moment of weakness.

  • that Demons and Angels aren't real (perhaps more on this later) --- I disagree, most claims of angel (or demon) sightings are virtually identical to claims of alien abduction, again, read Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World or Michael Shermer's Why People Believe Strange Things

  • that Jesus was a good teacher, but not the Messiah and not Divine (definitely more on this later) --- I disagree, I'm not even convinced that the Biblical Jesus was all that great a teacher

  • in Buddha --- I do not believe in his divinity, but as a person Buddha is at least as plausible as Jesus

  • that Muslims worship the same God as Christians - or that Islam is another path to the same God --- Really? According to the Koran the Islamic nation was founded by Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar. He also appears in the Bible, as the son of Abraham and Hagar. The last we see of Ishmael in the Bible, God promises to make a great nation from him. (Gen. 21:18) Jesus (thus Christianity) descended from Abraham through Isaac, Abraham's son by Sarah.

  • that there is any path to God/salvation other than through Jesus Christ --- Whatever. *yawn*

  • that the medieval Crusaders had God's blessing --- I agree, but clearly for a different reason

  • that God advocates violence towards non-christians today --- I agree, but again, clearly for a different reason

  • that Islam does not advocate violence or that it is a peaceful religion --- This applies to any religious fundamentalism

  • that "the experts" know what they're talking about --- I agree, argument from authority is always suspect. *cough*PatRobertson*cough*

  • that being published in a magazine or writing a best selling book means that you are right --- I agree

  • that you are right because any number of other people agree with you --- I agree

  • that non-experts must be wrong if they disagree with the experts --- I agree

  • that there is any living person who does not make mistakes --- or ever was

  • in the theory of Evolution (more specifically biological Macroevolution) --- Yeah, right. Remember Behe's smirk and handwave dismissal of a pile of research data? Whatever.

  • that the Earth could have maintained a habitable environment for millions or billions of years --- Why not? Really, I'd like to hear the evidence for Young Earth Creationism. Real, hard evidence, not just some pronouncement from thousands of years ago. Remember that argument from authority thing? Why is that ancient creation myth true, and all other ancient creation myths false? This page also has a bunch of flood and afterlife myths.
Random thought - In the late 1700's and early 1800's religious fundamentalists were vehemently opposed to lightning rods. Apparently they were "an attempt to thwart God's will."

I'm sorry that many relatives of mine who might read this will be very offended. I'm not sorry for my beliefs, just that some people will be offended by them (and maybe take this post as a personal attack. It isn't).

Later,

7 people have spouted off:

Braddock said...

I would say that the Islamic God and the Christian are the same God. If you look at the teachings of Mohamad, Islam was meant to be the completion of Christianity. Also they believed in the teachings of Jesus. So if this is true then why would they worship a different God.
Secondly I would say that Islam is not a violent religion, but the society who practices Islam is violent. Therefore they shifted the teachings of Mohamad to meet their political goals. (Much like Bush does with the Constitution)
Finally, the Islam we see in the media is much different than the Islam that is really practiced.

phil said...

Yes, Arabs and Israelis have a common ancestry. And God promised to make a great nation of Ishmael - and He did. At that point, Ishmael was in communication with the One True God. It does not say that Ismael remained faithful to God, nor that his descendants did.

I do not believe that Mohammad was a prophet sent by God, nor that the Koran is the Word of God - it is outright blasphemy and anyone who follows it is not worshiping God, but blaspheming Him.

John said...
And they feel the same about the Bible and Christians. What makes you right and them wrong?
2/11/06, 9:30 AM
Braddock said...

Also the Koran is closer to the word of God then the bible. How many authors of the Koran? One, Mohamad. How many authors of the Bible? Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul etc. And at many points the gospels don't correlate. Therefore since God is infallible then parts of the Bible (especially the Gospels) is not the word of God.

John said...
Yeah Phil, how do you know that Islam isn't the true Word of God? Maybe it was Isaac, or his descendents that lost the way.
2/12/06, 6:23 PM
Braddock said...

John, are you as afraid as I am that we are arguing on the same side?

John said...
Oh, hell yes. Terrified doesn't even begin to describe it. Me? Agree with you? If I believed in such things, I'd think it was a sign of the Apocalype.
2/12/06, 7:35 PM