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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why Atheism May Be the Best Way to Understand God By Larry Beinhart,

The rule for marriage in the Old Testament -- based on examples and God's occasional command -- seems to have been, "One man and however many women suit the situation." The New Testament did not explicitly change that. Both St. Augustine and Martin Luther said there was no scriptural prohibition on polygamy. Yet today things have somehow morphed so that the Catholic Church and most Protestants will insist that it is God's law that "marriage is a union between one man and one woman."

Similar changes have taken place over slavery, divorce and the death penalty for adultery. God's law, as expressed by religious leaders, evolves quite as much as man's law.

If we start from the Missionary Position -- the position of faith -- that God exists, these are the kinds of question we need to ask to go forward:

  • Why doesn't God make himself clear?
  • Why does God give different rules to different people?
  • Why is it that the culture someone is born into is, far and away, the most important determinant of which revelation they believe in?
  • Is there a way to sort out The Truth?
  • If a new prophet arrives tomorrow -- and they do arrive with great regularity -- how can we say that the new revelation is not the true revelation?


Here are the questions we have to ask from the atheist position.

  • If God doesn't exist, why do so many people believe in him?
  • If God doesn't exist, why are spiritual practices and religion among the human universals, things that exist in all human societies? ...


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