The Christian Bible

Truth is exclusive, therefore, not all religious texts can be true if they disagree with one another. However, that is not a reason to discount all texts. Search for the text that is true. It is possible that all texts can be false. But, it is equally possible that at least one could be true. You should engage in this process of weeding out the lies to find the truth, and not falsely and lazily declare the whole process pointless.

People stick to the Christian Bible because they believe they have found truth for their lives that gives meaning, purpose, and a clear grounding for morality. But moreover, they believe they have found the fulfillment of human existence in the union of God and man. And, in my opinion, the Christian Bible provides the only way for that union to exist without requiring you to attain an unreachable goal of perfection; which also simultaneously nullifies any self-pride that might have emerged because of the work that you might have done to achieve salvation. The Christian Bible declares salvation by the hands of God only. It is God seeking man, and not man seeking God. I believe that is one of the main differences between Christianity and all other religions.

And to me, this truth is obvious because through experience in this world, we see that man is not just the questioner, he is the question. When he asks a question, he looks for answers because the answer is not in him. He must find it. Every question that God asks points back to himself for he doesn’t just give answers, he is the answer. Truth is wholly apart from us. It exists out of the necessity of its own nature. And the Christian Bible, to me, provides the clearest view of truth. If you treat it the same as every other text, you will never see truth in it.

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Choose Your Own Adventure

When we are young we have faith in our parents. We obey them (hopefully) because they love us and they show us how life is, and what it should be. As we get older we put faith in our teachers trusting that they are authorities on Mathematics, Science, English, and so on. Each time we learn, we receive by faith the things they teach us since we have no first-hand knowledge of the things they relate to us. It’s better than making each generation rediscover everything over again. However, there is a time to learn what others teach and a time to gather knowledge ourselves. We begin to have faith in ourselves that we have the capabilities to understand the right ways of life. In the process of attaining knowledge we endeavor to reject faulty knowledge. But, we cannot be 100% certain that the knowledge we acquire is free of corruption since it cannot be independently verified by an outside source. Although some people see evidence of a Creator,  no 3rd party materializes in front of us to provide confirmation or denial of our findings, and these findings are subject to further criticism from every other person looking for answers or just looking to poke holes in other people’s findings. At this point, two types of people can emerge. The first is a person who begins to find the answers of life within himself, picking himself up by his bootstraps, so to speak, creating his own meaning and purpose, reality and truth. He has faith in himself. The other man perceives that his own reason has limitations and is therefore inadequate to get the answers needed. Since he perceives that the human experience is common to all, he looks for answers outside of himself and humanity. He puts faith in a 3rd party in order to confirm or deny his findings.

What is the difference between a man who has faith in himself and his human teachers, and the man who puts his faith in God? Both of them have faith, but the object of their faith is different. What are the outcomes?

The man who puts faith in himself eventually becomes selfish. This does not mean he only thinks of himself, but rather that all of his charitable and self-serving acts come from values formed from his own authority. His self and others like him are the highest forms of life he can find. He creates his own meaning, his own reality, his own purpose, and his own morality. Essentially he is his own property. He can do with himself what he wants. The obstacles to this, however, are others and laws of society. He respects others because it is reasonable, but he may decide that it is not reasonable if he so wishes. As his self grows in value, he can reason anything he wants. He eventually does not need society to decide what is right and wrong for him to do. If he kills someone it was for a good reason even if society does not agree. If he commits suicide he is only hurting himself and it is just fine because he is his own property. If he hurts others it can be justified. Reasons exist to respect other’s “property”, but reasons also exist that justify the disrespect of other’s “property”. The choice is his. He is the judge and jury. He could be the most moral person or the least moral person. Most everyone will not take it this far. They adopt this philosophy in moderation. Herein lies temporary harmony with the rest of men. However, this philosophy taken to the end of itself can lead to the destruction of self and others and it’s perfectly reasonable.

The man who puts his faith in God eventually becomes selfless. This does not mean he never thinks of himself, but rather that all of this charitable and self-serving acts are derived from values given by his Maker. God is the highest form of life he can find. In understanding God’s identity, he realizes his own identity, and derives from God his meaning, reality, purpose, and morality. Essentially, he is God’s property. He can do with himself what he wants, but he gives his self away to the Self of God. In this act, a new identity emerges that naturally follows the character of God. He respects others because they are God’s property, and we are all tenants, so to speak. He does not need society to decide what is right and wrong for him to do. If he kills someone he goes against God’s character. If he commits suicide he is destroying God’s property. If he justifies hurting others, he must ignore God’s laws. Reasons exist to respect God’s property. Reasons not to respect God’s property are products of a corrupt mind. The choice is still the man’s choice, but God is the judge and jury. The man’s degree of morality is dependent upon his conformity to the character of God. Most everyone will not take this as far as it will go. We don’t like to give up our selves completely. We adopt this philosophy in moderation. However, herein lies contention with men, God, and self. This philosophy taken to its end can diminish the self and the lead to a new identity created by God.

Now the paths are laid out before you. Which path will you choose?

 

(Picture created by Luke.)

A Glimpse into the Atheistic Mind

Image credits : http://picasaweb.google.com/ikrystyn

Atheist is like a child holding right hand….a scientist of logical intelligence ……left brain and the theist is like a child holding left hand …… a scientist of emotional intelligence ….right brain and mother is holding them like cosmic intelligence ….. mind of God ……  everyone’s childhood friend.

-quote taken from (Here)

The scientist who’s logic leads him to be an atheist can also possess great emotional distress. Thinking with his logical mind first, his emotional response to God is varied and skeptical. Thinking inwardly that God may be real he tests theories and evidence to find notions of him. Finding the worldly evidence can only point to God indirectly, he cannot be logically inconsistent in ignoring other possibilities. Because, in his mind, those possibilities are just as legitimate or more so, he is disinclined to believe in God. God is not “needed” in the world, but the feeling that God is needed in the heart the atheistic scientist cannot escape.  For, if God was real, great purpose and meaning and value could be given to man beyond the scope of his imagination. It is a fantastic feeling to think that he could be caught up in a greater purpose that began before there was time, encompassing not just the world, but the entire universe. The intellectual mind, however, will not let this hope tread into the realm of logic. Logic must be cold, calculating, impartial.  Some purely logical minds are not aware of this tension within, but for others, it relentlessly troubles the deep recesses of their heart.

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The Robot and the Doll

Value, meaning, importance, or significance are not things which can be imposed upon us; they can only come from us based upon what we care about. They are not discovered, but rather created through our interaction with the world around us. Thus the very act of caring about something creates meaning, value, and in the end morality.

This excerpt was taken from here.

This is a statement of philosophy, not a statement of fact. We can, indeed, place our own meaning on things. This is true. However, whether the meaning and purpose that we place on objects and ourselves is accurate or not we are not sure of. The validity of subjective meaning would be plausible if not for one thing. This world is not our property. We do not own it. We did not make it. We cannot attest to its origin or its future. We were not here when it came into existence. Sure, we can create, as it were, “out of nothing” our own meaning, but when we do we take the place of authority over it. In this act, we become impostors. Consider the following:

A man builds a robot, then he leaves never to return. Another man finds it and decides that it would make a nice doll for his daughter. He rejects any notion that the robot, now a doll, had any purpose or meaning other than what he gives it. He makes himself the final authority on the issue, and since he does not see any “maker” of the doll around to refute the claim, he rests his case.

Does he not take the place of the maker in this analogy? Does he not then become an impostor, a fake? Bringing this back to reality, we did not even make ourselves! Can we attest to our meaning without taking the place of something if not someone?

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Some Thoughts on Life’s Meaning and Atheism

Having killed God, the atheist is left with no reason for being, no morality to call his own, no meaning to life, and no hope beyond the grave. To find their way, atheists must make sense out of a random first cause, profess as immoral all moral claims, express meaningfully all meaninglessness, and find security in hopelessness. If the whole of the universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning. Just like a man can’t call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. Yet, we insist there is no meaning, while we contain within ourselves some idea of what a meaningful life could be. This search for meaning is set in the heart of man.

(Content adapted from Mere Christianity and The Real Face of Atheism)