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« Links Mentioned on the Show | Main | Challenge: An Omniscient God Can't Exist »

February 25, 2013


It's strange to me that people actually use this approach when it comes to religion. Why would (only) sincerity work in this situation, when it doesn't work in any other? (As you described in your example about doctors and healing.)

You might think and be sincerely convinced you're driving in the right direction to get to your destination. But when you check your map, you realize you were wrong and have to correct your course in order to get to where you wanted to go.

Sincerity is irrelevant if your facts are mistaken.

Again, it's hard for me to understand why people use this approach when it comes to religion. As you also said, we don't approach any other area of life in this manner.

This doctor analogy is broken.
Intent is a big part of morality.
Intent is not part of disease.
Disease is not part of morality.

I don't think the claim is that intent is completely irrelevant to religious claims.

Nor are religious claims exactly the same thing as moral claims.

Also, I don't think that it is true that disease is not part of morality. At the very least, having a particular disease may constitute a morally relevant excuse for some sorts of behavior that would otherwise be immoral.

And, many Christian claims about morality are akin to disease claims. For example, many aspects to the idea of Sin, especially Original Sin, strike me as more like a description of Adam's Disease than Adam's Vice. Sin is, first and foremost, a condition not a way of acting. The individual sins we commit are symptoms of Adam's Disease.

Christ not only forgives our sins but, ultimately, heals us of our our sinfulness.

Now, I don't want to completely divorce morality from sin, but it is well worth remembering that much of what we say, and perhaps many of the most important things we say, about sin resembles the sorts of things we say about disease.

If what I did was un-intended, that changes WHAT the other humans hold me responsible for.

They always recognize a difference between what I did and what I meant to do.

If I kill by accident, they might hold me responsible for negligence.

And that can be quite serious if a death was possible.

But they don't call it murder simply and exactly because I didn't intend a death.

A disease treats me the same, regardless of my intent.

Adam's disease is a broken metaphor.

What's broken, Ron, is your assumption that sin is and salvation are just about morality.

That's probably the least important aspect of the human condition.

For once, I agree... sincerity is not enough.

Your sincere belief in an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient triune god is not grounded in sufficient evidence but in your emotional desires. You are empty and scared and you need to believe in a happy place called Heaven where your alleged god will reward you and your pals and punish all those who dare to disagree with you.

Your theology is petty and foolish. I wish your sincerity would give way to skepticism and open-minded and that you would at least have the human decency to recognize that your "sincere beliefs" are your own folly and not to be foisted on the rest of society.

Sincerely believing in something just doesn't make it so. Declaring that you know you have the truth is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest. It's your prerogative to believe foolish things but it just makes you look sillier because you pretend that the evidence supports your case when it most definitely does not. Try to have a little integrity, will you?

You bring up a lot of points here, Jim J.

In your first sentence you express a sincere belief that you know every single thing about all evidence for God AND about the condition of the emotional make-up of every single Believing Christian. Since I have not been interviewed, that can hardly seem possible. Your second sentence is another sincere belief you apparently hold about the mental condition of every single Christian; but, as you say, sincerity is not enough when making such statements about knowledge.

Your second paragraph begins with quite a charge about our theology, yet you wish us to be more "open-minded". I'm curious, are you an example of that open-mindedness? I would also be interested in knowing why it is that, when you discuss your skepticism (which is shared by many in society) it is NOT foisting your ideas upon the public, but when Christians discuss their ideas (which are also shared by many in society) it IS foisting our thoughts on the public. Your comments on this would be appreciated, Jim.

You apparently sincerely believe your statements here are all true, but as you say, that just doesn't make them so. Because we disagree about theological ideas neither makes us disingenuous nor intellectually dishonest, and many here would enjoy an intellectual discussion with someone willing to have one! BTW, Christians are not worried about looking "silly" or foolish; it's not of any importance to us! And integrity certainly does not mean giving up belief in God for the open-mindedness of skepticism.

I look forward to your thoughts on these things and hope a civil discourse can be achieved with contributors here.


Very well said Carolyn!

I'm sure most serious Christians would agree with Greg on the sincerity.

Greg says 'Christ' is the medicine or antidote for the disease, and I agree totally. But 'Christ' is also packed full of his own soteriological presuppositions too, which I might not share, isn't it?

So, if I don't, then is my soul in peril?

If the other denominations are genuinely Christian, isn't it best to find one that's easiest to follow with the least effort, or are some more right than others? If so, which one, or ones, offers the best 'medicine'?

If I was Episcopalian, for example, I don't have to worry whether I'm reprobate or not. A Calvinist might think so, but that's just his belief about the matter, isn't it?

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