Showing posts from November, 2021

Childhood Indoctrination: Creating Christians

A child is not a Christian child, not a Muslim child, but a child of Christian parents or a child of Muslim parents. -Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion What is indoctrination? According to Oxford Languages, it is "the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically."   I'm not aware of any religious institutions that teach their parishioners how to critically examine the religion being taught. No, the religion is presented as non-negotiable truth and any real scrutiny is discouraged.  This is especially true for children.  Children are taught at an early age by their parents that their chosen religion is fact.  Kids are not taught how to think, but what to think.   Indoctrination exposes children to what is inside the bubble, at the expense of the virtues outside of the bubble In The God Delusion , Richard Dawkins compares religion to "mind-viruses".  The religions that are most likely to be spread from person to person are the ones

Doubting religion? There is nothing wrong with you. Take off the Blinders.

Until very recently, I thought there was something wrong with me.  Everyone around me seemed to happily accept the religion they were given with no questions asked.  If anyone besides me ever doubted, I never saw it. It is extremely isolating to be the only one among your family and church friends to question the reality with which we are presented. I thought the reason I couldn't accept Christianity was because of who I was as a person. I was too curious, too logical, too rebellious, too disobedient.  I often wished I had been born differently. Couldn't I have been given more of a pliable mind? What if I were just a tad more gullible? Maybe then I could be convinced that the Bible is true. That this invisible entity that I couldn't feel, touch, or hear is actually there. These feelings eventually turned into guilt.  I tearfully admitted to my best friend that I didn't have any faith, but I wished I had some.  I asked her why it was so easy for her, why was it so easy f

How did Judas Iscariot Die?

Judas Iscariot is well-known for betraying Jesus in exchange for 30 pieces of silver.  It may come as a surprise to learn that he died in two different ways in the Bible--and the stories are peppered with other contradictions too.   What did Judas do with the silver? In Matthew 27, he throws the silver back at the chief priests in the temple in a fit of remorse.  The counsel then buys a field. Acts 1:18 states that Judas bought a field with the money. Apologetic response: Judas indirectly bought the field via the priests. Counter Apologetic: The apologetic response is not the best explanation of the text.  Matthew clearly states that the priests bought the field, but Acts says "this man acquired a field"...and then goes on to describe his death.  This seems to imply that Judas acquired the field and then died. It also mentions nothing of the priests. Read independently of Matthew, nobody would infer that anyone else bought the field on his behalf.  How did Judas die? In Matt

If God Were Real...

What would reality look like if God were real? Is this really where God chose to reveal himself? Let's make the following assumptions. The God in question is omnipotent, omnipresent, loving, merciful, and omniscient (the Christian God) The God in question designed and created the entire universe, including humans Which scenario looks more likely? Thanks to Ginna Baker and C.S. for your help with this post! 

Frank Turek Rebuttal: What is faith? And why everyone has it!

I recently listened to a Frank Turek Podcast : "What is faith? And why everyone has it!" "Faith is not blind. Faith is trusting in what you have good evidence to believe is true." - Frank Turek In the first part of this podcast, he makes the claim that "faith is trusting in God for an unseen future, based on the evidence of what is already known about God."  In other words, this faith is not blind because God has proven himself with the following "historical facts". The resurrection Jesus's miracles God taking the Israelites out of Egypt and into the promised land What Mr. Turek is not addressing is that these "historical events" are far from fact.  To say that they are factual is in itself a leap of faith.  Let's briefly look at each of these. The Resurrection and Miracles The argument that Jesus performed miracles and rose from the dead all hinges on the historical reliability of the Bible--the gospels in particular.  If you a

Does Prayer Work?

Call to me and I will answer you.  -Jeremiah 33:3 (or, milk jug )   Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. -Matthew 7:7 (or milk jug, again ) How Does God Answer Prayers? There are many Christian sources  that say God always answers in one of three ways when he is asked for something via intercessory prayer. Yes No Wait Let's consider a hypothetical example of a woman who is actively looking for a job in the publishing field. She prays and prays, asking God to arrange this new position for her. The woman soon gets a job in her desired field.  GOD SAID YES. The woman fails to find a new job in her desired field, and moves on to focus on something else.   GOD SAID NO. The woman fails to immediately find a new job in her desired field, but she is persistent.  A few years later, she finds that publishing job.  GOD SAID WAIT. Do you see the problem with this? There is no other possible outcome than Yes/No/Wait.  The person prayin

God gives us morals in the Bible