Posted 15 October 2012 - 01:36 AM
more thoughts: mathias, i believe you are well-meaning. you're clearly not coming in here with an ideological axe to grind at the expense of everyone else's freedoms (at least i hope you're not.) you seem to come in with a mind open to free discourse and the exchange of ideas, which is noble, and conducive to good discussion, even if people disagree with your ideas.
honestly you remind my of myself a number of years ago. i was raised in a fundamentalist background, measured my christianity by the fact that i didn't swear, wouldn't drink, knew my baptist theology, registered as a republican when i turned 18, etc. i used to belong to a number of online forums that had a pretty good cross-section of belief systems and spent hours rhetorically grandstanding on political issues and creating ardent, heartfelt, well-written pieces in defense of the faith, usually related to the age of the earth and that great big lie that satan came up with called evolution, meant to deceive the masses into falling away from God.
nothing really could convince me otherwise. i had already decided on my worldview, and instead of using new information and data to shape my worldview, i instead filtered it through what i already believed to be true. i believe most of us do this; it's part of socialization, and it's rare that someone is conscious enough of these processes to transcend them. this does not make me special, or some kind of genius; i was lucky enough to undergo a series of circumstances in my life that led to great existential doubt, and then searching, and in the process of searching for answers about the universe and my place in it i found a great thirst for knowledge and a complete abandonment of the status quo insofar as it related to paradigms.
i believe the fundamental mistake you and other christians make in examining the bible is that you are coming from a place of already assuming it's true. you can't make an unbiased judgement because you're not measuring its veracity by the standards of historical texts, or by historical context, or bronze age historiography, etc. to be truly unbiased you must examine it from an outside-in perspective. have you ever wondered why so few people ever switch religions? it's because the vast, vast majority of individuals within a certain religious influence are taught that their version of god(s) is inherently correct, not really questionable, and that's all there is to it.
if the christian god was the right way, and the jews have a conversion rate of .0005%, does that mean an inordinately high level of jews just aren't smart enough to figure out the truth? or is there some deeper sociological scheme at play here?