Faith (Religion)

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 22:21 (552 days ago) @ David Turell

TONY: Now, to some mis-characterizations of my argument:
I never said that you had to have faith to lead a good life.
I never said you have to believe in God to lead a good life. I actually said the opposite in response to David.

dhw: I didn’t understand your response to David, which was all about faith being a shield to “fend off the flaming arrows of the evil one”, as if the faithless had no protection against evil and could behave however they liked because nothing mattered.

DAVID: I agree faith is not needed to live a proper good life.

dhw: Thank you, David, for restoring the balance.

DAVID: There is no question atheists and agnostics can be as properly moral without religion. I became a believer from reason and research alone. I've always lead a moral and ethical life from a sense of obligation to my fellows, not from an religious reward or punishment dictate, which is a childish philosophy.

dhw: Thank you again for adding some humanistic common sense to the debate.

David: I deeply respect Tony's fundamentalist view of the New Testament. I understand how he feels and how important it is to him. God has also become very important to me. However with my background I do not accept the Trinitarian theology. I also recognize the God of the OT does not come across as loving as the God of the NT. Karen Armstrong, a former nun, recognized that the most mature approach to God in her book, The History of God , 1993, is in the Quran which looks at the works of God to understand Him. Leaving the Catholic Church, she is reputed to attend Jewish or Muslim services. By 'History' she discusses how human beings have come to view Him over the centuries. The Catholic theology frankly came to frighten her. I can understand that. So I sit here as between Tony and dhw.

The OT God does not come across as unloving to me. However, his ways are not our ways, and if you are trying to judge his actions from a limited human perspective, I could see how he could be mischaracterized that way. Also, I am not a fundamentalist. I am not take a literal 6-day creation story, sinners burn in hell, good folks go to heaven, etc., etc., etc. christian.

What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

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