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April 08, 2012


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Like the rest of the stories in the bible, I believe them to be fictitious. Like the story of "The Grasshopper and the Ant," or "The Fox and the Grapes," they are no more than stories told to teach morals. Although, in the case of the bible, the endings are often as gruesome as those found in the popular German children's book 'Der Struwwelpeter."

As an atheist, I'm not suffering because I haven't turned over my cash/belongings/etc to the church or to god. As a matter of fact, since being unburdened by the guilt of the church when I leave decades ago, I'm doing quite well, thank you.

Does this make me greedy? I raise money annually to buy school supplies for kids in my neighborhood, I contribute directly to battered women's shelters and to AIDS hospices, and I house a friend who would otherwise be homeless. I give money to friends, donate to a no-kill animal shelter and I'm buying another friend's home so he doesn't lose it in foreclosure.

I don't do these things because the bible tells me to do so. I do these things because they're the right things to do. I don't need an ancient tome or the threat of eternal damnation to have a moral code.

Be good for goodness' sake.

As an atheist, how do you define 'right' vs 'wrong'? How do you define your 'moral code'?

I agree thoroughly with Nick and Rory. I was baptized in a Christian church, went to Sunday school, then Bible school every Sunday, took Bible school exams in which I passed with high marks, and later got married in a Christian church. Our three children were also baptized.

It was later on while I was working on my MS degree in engineering where I took courses in celestial mechanics and learned about the early great thinkers such as Galileo and Copernicus that I also, like Nick, realized that many of the stories in the bible were merely "fables" to teach good moral values. I then went on to question every single one of the common beliefs that directly contradict Science, such as the virgin birth, the miracles, and the resurrection to name just three.

Another experience that was a big turn off was when we moved to California my wife contacted our local episcopal church and invited the pastor to call on us as we were considering joining. The turnoff was that his visit was all about money and how much we were expected to give every month. This was very different from our prior experiences in England where when the plate is passed around and you contribute whatever you feel like without any feeling of coercion.

We were also very turned off when we visited the great cathedrals in South America and after stepping around the many women and children that were begging on each of the steps leading up to the entrance, went inside and were awed by the opulence of all of the gold and silver displayed. Likewise in St. Paul's Basilica in Rome, which I believe to be the greatest and most lavish and beautiful structure that exists anywhere on earth, I was apalled by the huge statues of each pope, where each one had tried to outdo his predecessor by having a larger statue. Finally we spent a long time viewing all of the great treasures in the Vatican Museum and the Sistine chapel, and started to really think about what it all meant. Lastly, I feel really turned off by the male chauvanism that exists in so many demoninations.

Typo - St. Paul's Basilica should of course be St. Peter's Basilica.

Old Limey, who created Science ;-)

The Bible does have a lot to say about money. Gary North has written a great book about it. Honest money is very important to human civilization.

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