First of all, I don’t know if I really think debating this issue will do any good at all. I mean, when your opponent is a conservative traditionalist, no amount of arguments are going to change their minds – since their opinions aren’t based on rational thought or arguments, but purely on emotional responses. That’s what makes it so hard to discuss anything with conservatives, really – that they don’t base their arguments or thought processes in any kind of rational thought. “It’s always been this way” is not a bloody argument.
Another non-argument I’m beginning to get sick of is “If you don’t thing marriage is a thing between only a man and a woman, you’re not really a believer”. Oh really. There aren’t many people who follow the LITERAL word of the bible these days, and I do think we’re all a bit happy about that. or would you like a society where stoning was an acceptable form of punishment, for instance? Most Christians today choose what parts of the bible they want to follow, based on tradition and – as they say – common sense. There are a lot of Christians who get that, well, even if the bible was originally handed down by the Lord, it was still written by goddamn people. And people generally filter things – and thus, a lot of what’s in the bible isn’t necessarily relevant, just as it isn’t necessarily historically accurate. A lot of it is symbolic, and a lot of it is simply a product of whatever society it was created in rather than divine inspiration.
Yeah, I know, God promises to keep His word safe, and all that – but take a look at bible translations, and you’ll quickly see that there’re a lot of differences that’ve popped up through the years. Read the Dead Sea Scrolls documents; early Christians had communal property and were pretty much a tiny, sometimes violent sect. A lot has changed. And change is good. If I were to believe in “true free will”, as in we’re not all just biological machines who do exactly what we’re programmed to by society, upbringing, experiences etc, which I don’t, then I’d say the fact that we interpret the bible so differently is a sign of that.
Yeah, if there is a God, and he gave us free will, but he then expects us to act exactly according to an age-old, non-rational set of ethics, well… then it’s not really free will, is it? “Do this or you’ll burn forever” – yeah, free will, right. Most of that burning-in-hell stuff never really appears in the bible. In fact, hell isn’t even a major theme if you bother to actually read the damn book. It’s all “thou shalt not” but there’s not much mention of consequences. We’ve pretty much invented that one ourselves.
Not that I, a distict and definite unbeliever, even care what thet book says – sure, I’ve read through it a few times and I know enough to copnuse most door-knocking Jehova’s Witnesses… But i don’t care, per se. All I care about is that it’s being used by conservative traditionalists to justify an unreational opinion.
As far as I’m concerned, irrationality is the damn antichrist, and all those who purposefully hold on to irrational ideas rather than to explore new venues are doomed – not to hell, but to a very meaningsless life.