As part of my blog series on Christianity and atheism with Jesse, I’ve responded to his latest post which deals with Pascal’s Wager.
Not directly related to the wager, there seems to be an underlying thread in the post that suggests Christians are in the business of conning people—purposefully hiding the truth. Naturally, Christians are as capable of deceit as the next person, however to imply (unless I’ve badly misunderstood) that deceit is more or less a part of Christian doctrine itself, doesn’t sit well. Basically because there seems to be a lack of evidence for this—with the exception of some tele-evangelists. I think a distinction between individuals and creed is needed. But anyway, that’s taking this conversation down a different path—psychology I guess—and one that can easily lead to playing the man, not the game. Maybe it’s best to move on. Continue reading
I recently asked my friend Jesse whether he’d be interested in having a debate about his atheism, and my Christianity. The motivation for having this conversation, at least on my part was a bit selfish: I needed something to write about! Beyond that, I think we’ve both got fairly strong beliefs, and we both enjoy talking/writing about issues, so a blog-debate seemed appropriate. Continue reading
I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I knew who Chan and Sukumaran were, or what the Bali 9 had done to deserve their fate. But that’s the point, regardless of who it concerns, the what of the case (the death penalty) is as ever, up for debate.
The impending executions of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has caused a flurry of commentary from journalists, doctors, lawyers, human rights groups, and politicians in Australia. Considering this possible overexposure to the case, I cautiously add my 2 cents worth.
‘Islamophobic!’ is directed at anyone it would seem, who has any criticism of Islam.
In light of the rise of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) in Northern Iraq and its intolerant ideologies, ‘moderate’ and ‘mainstream’ Muslims, as well as many non-Muslims have stressed the peaceful nature of ‘true’ Islam.
Deflecting criticism away from Islam’s holy texts, moralistic commentators—many non-Muslim—often compare the words and actions of the Prophet Muhammad to massacres in the Old Testament committed by the Israelites. It is argued that just as ‘mainstream’ Christians and Jews do not act according to many old teachings now, likewise the Islamic world for the most part does not either, and thus certain aspects of their religious texts and traditions can be ignored just as Christians pick and choose those bits of Scripture which suit this time and place.
At face value, this comparison seems fair. Christians—I can’t speak for Jews—adapt their Bible to make it more palatable, so why shouldn’t Muslims?
I don’t know that God exists, nor that Jesus died, was buried, and then rose again. I don’t know that the Bible is the Word of God. Yet, I call myself a Christian.
I sincerely believe all of the above, but I don’t know that it’s true.
One might assume that I’m going through a phase of existential angst and serious doubt about my faith, but I’d disagree. To me it’s just part of living out my Christian life.
Because I believe I can be a faithful Christian, and yet not claim to know the truth.