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   Religon Debates
     Letter from my skeptic friend.
       How should I answer my friend's skeptic letter?

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I decided to engage in an ongoing conversation through email with a friend regarding his skepticism towards Christianity as well as religion in general and I'd really like to answer his questions as best I can. There are some that I can answer, others I need to do more research. Any help would be greatly appreciated...

When I read the bible I can't help but see the handprint of man all over
it.  Read the sections of Romans that talk about government and leaders.
It basically says in so many words don't ever question your leaders
because they wouldn't be leaders if God didn't want them to be.  That
was obviously written by men in power who wanted the rest of the
population to stay in line.  If it was written by God how does the
American revolution, or the French revolution, or even getting rid of
Hussein fit into that plan?

My main issue is not with people who believe that the overall messages
in the bible are God's word or plan.  My problem is with those who
believe that every word in the bible is the literal word of God.  As if
they are so afraid of going to hell that they refuse to even make the
slightest decision on their own.  For one thing there are about what 20
or 30 different versions of the bible out there right now, how do you
know which one is the literal word of God.  Give a passage written in
Hebrew to 10 different biblical scholars, and you will probably get 10
different translations, and 10 different interpretations of what those
translations mean.

My main problem with Christians; is the huge number that basically
ignore the fundamental message of Christ which is love one another and
accept everyone equally because they are all equal in the eyes of God.
So many choose to bog themselves down in obscure passages outlining
rules that they completely miss the major point of the philosophy.  Gays
are sinners, 75% of the world is going to hell because they haven't been
"born again," the world is 6000 years old, sex is evil and will send you
to hell, etc.

My main problem with almost all religions is the inherent divisiveness
of them all.  Only Muslims are going to heaven, Jews are God's chosen
people, you can't go to heaven unless you are born again and accept
Jesus, blah, blah, blah.  What kind of God is going to send a 7 year old
kid born into a tribe in Borneo to hell because he hasn't accepted Jesus
as his savior?  It sounds much more like something Satan would do rather
than a loving God.

Bottom line is I can accept the idea that there may be a God out there.
I'll never accept the ideas of organized religion!  I just don't think
it is possible for someone to convince me that the Bible or the Quran or
whatever hasn't been completely twisted by man.

Believe me I didn't become an atheist on a whim, I spent a lot of time
soul searching, and praying, and asking God to show himself to me.  I
never felt anything.  My conclusion was that there were a few
possibilities 1) there is no God 2) God doesn't really have personal
relationships with people 3) God has different plans for everyone (maybe
he didn't feel I needed religion 4) Maybe I was past the point of

All I can do is try and be a good person (because I want to, not because
I fear punishment in the afterlife)try and do right by others, and be
sincere in the things I do.  If that's not good enough than so be it, I
can't follow a philosophy strictly out of fear.

Question your own beliefs to answer those who question.

Posts: 1 | Posted: 3:17 PM on August 11, 2005 | IP

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your friend is right in almost every way.  i wish the religious people of the world thought along these lines.  

he would have more respect from me if he were agnostic though, becuase we cannot truly rule out the existance of god.

Posts: 152 | Posted: 4:41 PM on September 17, 2005 | IP
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