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Christian leaders teach that the Bible is inerrant and authoritative, often referring to it as "The Good Book." They encourage us to read it, but they evidently realize that most of us will only read the recommended passages, accompanied by a good dose of interpretation, and that only a few of us will ever read it from cover to cover, and then form our own opinions about what it actually says. If all of us were to sit down and read the Bible straight through--and then actually put into practice what it admonishes us to do--civilization would be dealt a devastating blow from which it might never recover. That may seem to be a surprising conclusion, but the author makes a convincing case for it simply by looking at what the Bible itself actually says.
"I am not shocked that the believers I interact with doubt the efficacy against theism of the problem of evil argument, but I am shocked that almost all of them really fail to convince me that they take the objection seriously. I would like to investigate this failure and also lay out some helpful ways of effectively communicating the problem of evil to ordinary believers."
What authority can we trust to provide good answers to life's big questions? For questions about the physical world--how it got here, how it works, where we came from--the discoveries of science give us honest and reliable answers. But science does not claim to know the answers to moral and social issues, which are of utmost importance because they determine how well we can live together. Religions do claim to have the answers in this area, but how good are their teachings? A careful look at moral issues addressed by religions can tell us a lot, and maybe even provide a guide to validating our own moral choices.
What is real, and how do we know it? Religions and science put forward quite different answers to those questions, the gap becoming wider as the religious thinking becomes more fundamental. A comparison of the workings of religion and science shows which one we should trust for answers, even if we don't always have the interest or the patience to learn about and understand scientific discoveries (or to wade through religious rhetoric).
The group of people commonly referred to as Nones includes atheists agnostics, secular humanists and a variety of other skeptics and freethinkers all of whom have one thing in common--they are not affiliated with any organized religious group. Although some of them do believe in a Creator or some form of Supreme Being, most are nonbelievers, albeit with varying degrees of conviction. But they also have one other characteristic in common. If they reveal their disbelief--especially if they use the word "atheist," then they become targets of criticism, victims of ostracism and charges of "anti-Americanism."
Here is a problem: On the one hand, human society cannot survive without an injunction against the wanton killing of fellow human beings. On the other hand, man is an aggressive animal. Dehumanization (i.e., the likening and equating of human beings with animals) is often used by religions to justify the killing of others. While one code says "an eye for an eye," another commands you to "love your enemies." Here you read "Thou shall not kill!"; there you find "Slay the idolaters wherever you find them."
"As a humanist psychotherapist my view is that to promote secular ethics and create a humanistic world, we need to respect human rights and associate sex with love and affection, rather than sin and guilt. To grow as a human species and evolve as sexual beings, we need to embrace advances in science and psychology rather than age-old scriptures that impose contradictory sexual morals and create fear in people."