Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Faith Continuum?

When I spot an interesting article that causes a bunch of people to reply with really stupid comments, I can't help but reply to them! So of course, when I spotted "Faith, Reason and Science, Part X: Some Humor and Serious Ponderings By A Thoughtful Atheist" on A Guy in the Pew, I knew there'd be trouble. You can check there for my ramblings.

I do find his thoughts on science and faith a bit interesting, it seems to me he is one of those people who works his faith around reality as best he can. But the main problem is; those who want to believe mostly seek out books/articles that affirm that faith. I'm not sure if he's ever seen The God Who Wasn't There, just as I haven't read Jesus of Nazareth as he has.

He is prepared to reshape his faith based on evidance, and I think it here that I ask "how then can you have faith at all if it is so easy to change?" If you call yourself a Christian and yet pick & choose what makes sense from the bible, what happened to the rest of it? I had to say it needs to be an all or nothing choice, for while I can take some intellectual & spiritual guidance from the bible, I don't believe any of it to be divine. But can faith in religious doctrine lie on such a continuum?

4 Comments:

Blogger Chuck Blanchard said...

New Atheist:

Thanks for the link to my blog. I don't know that the issue is whether faith is a continuum. I think rather that there is a wide diversity of belief systems within Christianity--most of which are the result of faith confreonting modernity.

Many Christians believe that the Bible is literally true. For a wide variety of reasons I do not. I am willing to accept science, for example, which leads me to accept evolution and reject creationism and the so-called intlligent design.

So why do I am I still a believing Christian? Undoubtley, a big reason why is that I have felt God's presence in my own life. And while I accept much of modernity (such as science), I do beleive that there is a spiritual part of our universe. I am not a materialist. A materialist can read the story of the resurection, and the only response is "how absurd." I am willing to accept the possibility that it could occur, but am also willing to consider evidence to the contrary as well. So far, I remain persuaded that it occured.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Intergalactic Hussy said...

"If you call yourself a Christian and yet pick & choose what makes sense from the bible, what happened to the rest of it? I had to say it needs to be an all or nothing choice, for while I can take some intellectual & spiritual guidance from the bible, I don't believe any of it to be divine. But can faith in religious doctrine lie on such a continuum?"

Well put! That's always my battle when describing how I am a moral human being without the guidance of scripture or the promise of an afterlife. Christians are clearly choosing what's right and what's wrong from the bible (same as for other religions).

From what I've seen: corruption and greed in politics... How come it's the religious right? As if being rich and greedy goes with being Christian? That makes no sense. Jesus was totally down-to-earth (if he existed).

8:01 PM  
Blogger new.atheist said...

Chuck:

I guess I still see that type of faith as picking/choosing from the bible; if Adam & Ever are so obviously an allegory, why isn't the story of Jesus just as obvious a story? Nobody wrote about either at the time they were happening.

The whole of the Christian faith is based on believing that Jesus died for the sins of mankind; if you don't believe in that, I don't think it's right to call yourself a Christian. You might still believe in the same god, but that alone doesn't make you Christian. Even atheists can be "spiritual" in many ways. I have a feeling your beliefs lie outside any predefined doctrine, so you pigeon-hole yourself into a religion that doesn't fully fit you.

10:14 PM  
Blogger new.atheist said...

Intergalactic hussy:
I really don't get how the religious got to be on the right either; from what I know of the Christian Jesus he would have been much more for spreading around the wealth.

I think most religious people focus too much on abortion & homosexuality though, which the right is typically against. And they say that private charities should take care of people, not the government.

Personally, I lean liberal; I don't think the government should tell me what to do with my body or with my money!

10:15 PM  

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