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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Bible interpretation

I saw this comment recently on a forum:

One of the things I have always found strange about the fundies is that they don’t follow all or even most of the actual teachings of the Bible.  ie. generally they would rather join the NRA than “turn the other cheek” and don’t even think about “It is harder for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to get into heaven.”

My response:

Yep. They read the Bible not for understanding but to reinforce their culturally influenced beliefs. Therefore they cherry-pick passages that reinforce them, and ignore or downplay those that don’t. In addition, they interpret passages not in light of the original context and cultural setting, but make them fit their own situation.

Everyone knows this about the fundamentalists. What really opened my eyes was when I realized that it is not only the fundies but pretty much all religious folks who do this. Yes, even the liberal Christians do this. The day I finally realized that was the day I was no longer a Christian.


Life’s purpose

It is assumed by most religious and philosophical minded folks that there is a purpose to life, to the universe. However, today I am thinking that this is yet another of the Sacred Cows that needs to be tipped over. (I’m not talking about the purpose of an individual’s life, as defined by that individual — that is another matter altogether and I still see that as being very important.)

From a rational, humanistic viewpoint, there is no evidence whatsoever of any Grand Scheme or Master Plan for the universe. Quite the contrary; we have every reason to believe that things are the way they are, just because they are. Maybe we inhabit one of a multitude of universes, the vast majority of which do not and cannot harbor life. It’s hard to know for sure, given that we have only one example, but I no longer see compelling evidence that our world is “fine tuned” for intelligent life.

And that’s okay. When we no longer have to worry about “God’s plan” for mankind, we are free to just live. We provide our own meaning, our own purpose.

I think that’s awesome.